Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday announced a 50-million- cedi �youth- in-agriculture� project to be executed in 2010 as part of determined measures by government to arrest unemployment.
He said although the project started on a modest scale this year, funding for it would be dramatically increased next year to encourage more youth to venture into agriculture as a viable livelihood to reduce poverty.
The project, which will run alongside the proposed 225 million -cedi Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) initiative, is a targeted policy by the Mills administration to deliver a better Ghana for Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions and the contiguous Savannah belts in the Volta and Brong Ahafo regions.
Speaking during a courtesy call on Na Abdulai Ziblim, Regent of Gulkpegu in Tamale as part of a four-day tour of the Northern Region, Vice President Mahama said the project would help to reverse the migration of the youth in the area to Accra and other urban centres for menial jobs.
To sustain the project, he said government, intends to establish agriculture centres which would provide farming inputs such as seedlings and fertilisers at subsidized rates to improve upon yield.
Mr Mahama asked the people to have faith in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), as it was poised to reverse the affliction of poverty and joblessness among the youth in the area.
Citing the SADA initiative, Vice President Mahama said it was meant to transform the region drastically and give it a face lift.
He said the legal processes for its implementation shall be followed through when Parliament resume sitting.
Vice President Mahama said SADA was being fashioned as a �development vehicle� for the area in line with the pledge of the manifesto of the NDC to the people.
He asked the people to exercise patience with the government as it works diligently to fulfil the mandate for which it was voted for.
Vice President Mahama said the NDC inherited a difficult financial situation but had worked to stabilize the situation, adding: �Everything is now on track. We have been fairly successful in stabilizing the cedi, which was falling like a piece of stone.�
He expressed support for communities which were recently inundated with floods owing to the opening of the Bagre dam in neighbouring Burkina Faso.
Na Abdulai Ziblim asked government to expedite action on upgrading of the Tamale Teaching Hospital to meet its current status.
He also appealed to the government to expand educational facilities in basic as well as senior high schools to facilitate teaching and learning.
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