The Deputy Chief Executive of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Mr Nelson Owusu-Ansah, has called on the youth to help raise awareness and address issues on food security in the country.
According to him, the adoption of innovation and technology will help drive food security in the country.
His comments follow growing concern on lack of interest of the youth in agriculture. However, speaking at the commemoration of this year’s International Youth Day (IYD), under the theme “Transforming Food Systems”, Mr Owusu-Ansah explained that the NYA hopes to harness the interest of the youth in the sector.
The NYA deputy CEO further highlighted the need for professionalism so as to make the sector attractive to young people.
“The theme for this year’s commemoration, therefore affords us all, the youth mainly; an opportunity to reflect, deliberate and raise awareness on the critical need to pick up the mantle and to be in the vanguard of technological advancement and innovations in the agriculture/food systems value chain to spur mechanization and automation of the processes of production for sustainable food security”.
Labour in the Agriculture sector
Following this, Mr Owusu-Ansah stated that concerning the average age of farmers in “the labour force in Ghana is quickly aging specifically in the agriculture sector”.
“Data collected also reveals that, the average age of a farmer in Ghana is 55 and their life expectancy 60years”.
Additionally, he stressed on the need for technological incorporation into farming activities. By this, he explained that there is the need to streamline agriculture in order grow the interest of the youth.
“In situations where most of the things we do in agriculture are anachronistic, we have still not revolutionize the sector. Such that, the old accoutrement that we are used to, hasn’t changed over time. So, how do you encourage the young person who is educated to take up the issue of building a profession in this area”.
Mr. Owusu-Ansah further advised the youth to channel their energies into productive ventures.
Food crisis in the country
Preceding this, the Executive Council member of the National Seed Trading Association of Ghana, Seidu Mubarak, had warned of imminent food shortage in the country.
Joining other stakeholders within the country’s food production value chain, he explained that if measures are not taken to resolve issues such as unavailability of fertilizer, there will be food shortage in the country.
“The situation is having a toll on us in terms of food supply. The expected average food yield has also been affected in a way. There are a lot of issues hitting us on the ground.”
“We have a looming danger, and we are moving towards it slowly. By 2022, the food crisis will be an issue. I definitely foresee it seriously, because the factors on the ground point to that. The issue of fertilizer is critical”.
Corroborating his stance, the President Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Charles Nyaaba, also insisted that swift solution are needed to address the issue.