Within the developing agenda of Ghana, agriculture is identified as one of the economic pillars. The nexus/connection between agriculture development and Ghana’s ability to achieve its food and nutrition security goals are inextricably linked.
Agriculture is important to the development of any nation, Ghana being no exception. Development must include the youth and therefore GIBICTS Center for Youth Development seeks to encourage youth’s participation in the agricultural sector. This effort seeks to change the negative perception the youth have of participation in agriculture, (farmers) as uneducated, unskilled, physical labourers with extremely low economic return. Modern agriculture is more than tilling the soil and animals. The sector today offers career opportunities in research, environment, financial management, engineering and other technical areas for the youth to explore.
The introduction of this programme is necessary and vital to facilitate employment for the youth through agriculture and also food and nutrition security because of the following reasons but not limited to:
- Increased employment particularly rural employment is required as youth unemployment is on the increase.
- It provides productive alternatives for the engagement of the youth to reduce crime and other social problems.
- Increase productivity in agricultural sector depends on the youth who compromise about 20 – 30 of Ghana’s active population. Their energy and numbers provide tremendous opportunities for increasing agricultural productivity.
- The poor image of persons involved in agriculture, especially in the rural communities needs to be changed and the youth are the ideal catalyst such change given their greater prosperity and wiliness to adapt new ideas, concept and technology which are all important to changing the way agriculture is practiced and perceived.
- Diversified, modern farming practices.
- New crop varieties and animal strains/breeds.
- Reduction in rural-urban migration.
This program has the objective of motivating the youth to accept and appreciate farming/food production as a commercial venture, thereby taking up farming as a life time vocation. By so doing the following benefits will be derived from the employment for the youth, through the provision of the training
- Making youth accept farming as a commercial business venture;
- Generate appreciable income to meet farmers domestic and personal needs;
- Youth will improve their standard of living-through improved income.
- Youth will be motivated to stay in rural areas, as inputs will be delivered at their farm gate, on credit basis and interest free,
- Produce enough food crops, meat and fish using modem methods.
Components of the Training
The Youth training has four (4) components namely:
- Crops Production
As at now, a 2.7acre land has been acquired for the project with an accommodation that can house about 30 participants. There is a fishpond for the fishery training and a 4 acre land for the demonstration farms has been given by the chief of where the project is going to be situated.
GCYD also have a 10 acre cocoa farm and a 4 acre palm oil plantation as demonstration farms for the perennial crops production.