Mr. Emmanuel Tei Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, on Wednesday advised the public especially the youth not to look down on agriculture as an employment avenue and turn round to complain of unemployment.
He gave the advice at the handing-over ceremony of produce from the National Service Secretariat (NSS) farm at Branam in Wenchi Municipality.
Mr Mensah, who doubles as acting Minister of Education, said a lot of people refused to engage in agriculture “and leave their localities to the urban centres for white collar jobs, but they end up in the streets.
“It is very pathetic to see the youth selling dog chains and other things on the streets of Accra and in the evening sleep in kiosks and in front of stores”, he said.
The Minister urged the Youth to feel proud to engage in agriculture rather than to waste their time and energy in the cities.
He commended the 50 service personnel who accepted to work on the 162 acres of land to produce 4000 bags of maize.
Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, asked the service personnel not to regard the exercise as punishment and to cast away the perception that agriculture was for illiterates.
In the developed countries, rich men are the very people who invest so much in agriculture, he said, and urged the personnel to be content that they had also contributed their quota to food security in the country.
Mr Nyamekye Marfo stressed that Brong Ahafo “is the only region in the country where all types of crops can be cultivated, due to the nature of the land”.
He noted that the land at Branam used for the cultivation of maize was neglected for many years for being infertile but after applying poultry manure it had become useful to produce large quantities of yellow maize.
Mr Vincent Kuagbenu, NSS executive director, entreated the personnel to continue with such good work to help reduce the importation of poultry feed into the country.
If the country is able to produce such large quantities of maize, it will increase poultry production.
The NSS executive director noted it was initially not easy for the personnel to accept the exercise “but they now appreciate it” and urged other graduates to embrace the exercise to help sustain it.
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