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Agric policy needs urgent review – stakeholders

  19 Avril      14        Agriculture (96),


Accra, April 19, GNA – Some players in the agriculture sector have called for the review of existing agriculture policies to effectively harness resources to support industrialisation and transform the economy.

They are advocating those policies governing the sector should include the compulsory teaching of agricultural practices from the basic through to tertiary school to prepare students for the job market.

The stakeholder also suggested that policy needs should include the deployment and training of national service personnel along the agriculture value chain.

They made the call at a forum organised by Knox Consulting, an agribusiness consulting firm, for sector experts to brainstorm on gaps and proffer practical solutions towards making the sector vibrant and profitable.

It formed part of activities being rolled out by Knox Consulting with support from the SofTtribe under its “Bridging the Devices and Connectivity Gaps for Students in Agriculture in Ghana’’ project with the Mastercard Foundation.

The ideas collated from the deliberations would offer project implementers ample tools to offer supplementary content for students in tertiary institutions, as well as provide an in-depth understanding of pertinent human resource bottlenecks affecting the industry.

Mr Serlorm Agudu, Chief Farmer at Urban Jungle Agro Industry said agriculture must be made a compulsory subject and introduced to pupils early to whip up enthusiasm.

“Currently, agriculture is an optional programme at the senior high school level. If we wait till, they are old before introducing them to the course, many will not show interest and it will be perceived as punishment,” he said.

Mr Agudu said there should be an initiative that identifies and promotes successful farmers as ambassadors and role models to encourage young people to venture into agribusiness.

He emphasised that agribusiness could not thrive without strong partnerships and stressed the need for effective collaboration among scientists, farmers, financial institutions, policymakers, educationists, and consumers.

Mrs Sheila Assibey-Yeboah, the Managing Partner of Knox Consulting, said many graduates of agriculture opted for other jobs, leaving a hand-full actively practising in the sector.

“The trend is worrying, and counterproductive. There is a need to take deliberate action to train and retain graduates to grow the sector. An incentive mechanism must be established.

“We believe this is important in helping the project develop a comprehensive approach to bridging the current knowledge gap when fresh graduates enter the job market in the agriculture space,” she said.

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