The Nana Akufo Addo’s government, the thebftonline.com has learnt will train unemployed graduates from all agricultural colleges of education as extension officers to help governments aim of reviving the agricultural sector.
According to the minister designate for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the government was committed to the agenda of ensure that, the Agric sector becomes the engine of growth, creating employment for the huge unemployed youth.
Speaking at the 68th Annual new year school and conference at the University of Ghana, organized by the School of Continuing Education, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the move is part of the total national campaign of “planting for food and jobs” which is expected to help revive the once vibrant agric sector which has almost collapsed.
“There currently exist large pools of graduates of our agricultural colleges who have been trained at the tax payer’s expense, but have found themselves on the unemployment pile, wasting away their trained skill.”
According to him, engaging these men and women from the country’s agricultural colleges, will prevent the unemployed youth from wasting away their time, after the state having spent tax payer’s money to have them trained. The government has therefore begun this programme to ensure that, they put into good use the knowledge acquired in school in helping transform the agricultural sector by reducing the huge post-harvest loses recorded.
He further explained that “between 2011 and 2015 more than 3200 students graduated from the five colleges of agriculture. Only a handful has gained employment since their graduation. The idea is use to these technical officers as extension agents for clusters of farmers.’’
The officers who are going to be absorbed as support staff of the department of agriculture in the district assemblies, are also expected to help farmers to adopt the best technological practices for increased productivity.
This New Year School, which is on the theme “Promoting National Development through Agricultural Modernization: The Role of ICT,” is expected to present to the government a communique on how Ghanaians drawn from industry and academia arrived at the best way to revive the agricultural sector.
Under the theme “Promoting universal health for sustainable development in Ghana: Is ICT the game changer?” last year brought together people from academia, industry, local and national government to deliberate on issues of both national and international relevance.
The New Year School and Conference will also seek to provide a common platform for experts and academics to deliberate on various issues of national concern and make recommendations for national development.