President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has officially launched the Youth in Agriculture Programme (YIAP), expressing his optimism for a vibrant agricultural sector to bolster food self-sufficiency.
According to the President, agriculture's sustainability largely hinges on the active involvement of the youth, making YIAP a pivotal initiative to rejuvenate the sector's human resources.
YIAP stands as one of the government's principal agricultural initiatives, aimed at motivating young individuals to embrace agriculture and food production as profitable ventures, with a long-term perspective.
YIAP is a joint endeavor between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), operating within the framework of the second phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PfJ) policy.
YIAP's primary components include Crops and Block Farms, Livestock and Poultry, Fisheries and Aquaculture, as well as Agribusiness.
The Livestock and Poultry segment, for instance, focuses on engaging unemployed young men and women in livestock and poultry production, encompassing broilers, layers, guinea fowls, and piggery.
Beneficiary youth will receive support such as day-old chicks for broilers, layers, and guinea fowls, along with housing, feed, medications, and vaccines until they graduate from the program in about a year. Similarly, breeding sows, pigs, and other necessary inputs will be provided to participants.
The program also extends to other animals, including cattle, sheep, goats, and other livestock like rabbits and grass cutters, with farmers being trained in the specialized area of animal production.
The President acknowledged that youth unemployment has been a longstanding challenge for Ghana and highlighted the program's role in allowing beneficiaries to harness their agricultural potential for economic growth.
YIAP is designed to empower young people to produce an ample supply of food crops, meat, and fish by adopting modern agricultural practices and methods. President Nana Akufo-Addo emphasized the government's commitment to altering the youth's misconceptions about agriculture, emphasizing the sector's potential to generate wealth.
He further pointed out that no other sector has had a more significant impact on improving living conditions in Ghana than agriculture.
Dr. Bryan Acheampong, Minister of Food and Agriculture, expressed concern about the aging agricultural workforce and the migration of youth to other sectors.
The YIAP initiative aims to counteract this trend and transform the narrative about agriculture.