The Deputy Minister designate of Food and Agriculture, Mr Kennedy Nyarko Osei, has said he will impress on the substantive minister to initiate incentive packages for the youth to go into agriculture.
Answering questions before the Appointments Committee of Parliament in Accra last Thursday, he said the youth would be given capital to start farming and supported with fertiliser and tractors.
Besides, he said, provision would be made to market the produce of the farmers.
Mr Osei has been a Member of Parliament (MP) for Akim Swedru since 2013.
He is the Chairman of the Local Government and Rural Development Committee of Parliament and Vice Chairman of the Environment, Science and Technology Committee.
Mr Osei holds an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) in Project Management from the University of Ghana.
Interest in farming
Mr Osei said many young people did not have interest in farming due to lack of capital and market for farm produce.
He said with the support that he was anticipating, the young people would have access to financing to do farming on a large scale and also get market for their produce.
“We will make incentives available for young farmers so that they can venture into farming,” he said.
Mr Osei added that he would also liaise with the substantive ministers and the other deputies to improve the agriculture mechanisation system.
He explained that the mechanisation system would involve the use of high-yielding seedlings, application of fertiliser and the use of tractors.
He mentioned that the farmers could procure the tractors on high purchase or on rental basis.
Mr Osei said the ideal way of providing fertiliser was to give it for free to farmers.
However, he explained that because of the country’s limited resources, he supported the current system of subsidising fertiliser for farmers, “subsidies at a minimal fee which will encourage farmers to buy,” he said.
Mr Osei stated that the one-district, one-factory policy was crucial to adding value to the country’s produce in terms of processing.
Again, he said, the one-district, one-warehouse policy would preserve the produce for future use.
“We have to make use of the one-district, one-factory to process the farm produce,” he said.
The deputy minister designate said he would collaborate with the minister to improve irrigation farming in the country.
“I will support the minister to take irrigation farming to a higher standard,” he said.
Fall army worms
Mr Osei mentioned that the fall army worms were a global threat, especially in Africa.
He added that when given the nod, he would offer additional suggestions to control the army worm invasion.