Ghana, a country in West Africa has all it takes for almost every seed you put into the soil to thrive and do well. Be it adequate water or rainfall, adequate light, adequate temperature, soil nutrients etc, the country is so lucky to have them all. Agriculture as we all know is part of the future ventures to help a developing country thrive.
According to MoFA, the average age of a farmer in Ghana is 55 years and it's obvious from this that, the youth in the country dislike venturing into agriculture. A youth according to the African Youth Charter is defined as those between the ages of 15 and 35 years and Ghana has adopted this age definition for a youth in its National Youth Policy. It's right and clear that, a typical Ghanaian in this age bracket would be busy working out his or her future by studying in school or on a trade and it's just a few who find themselves charter the paths of farming at that age.
The youth's dislike towards agriculture in the country might be due to a ton of reasons but I think it is basically because the youth think agriculture or farming is antiquated and unprofitable but I think farming is a lucrative venture if it is done well or in the right way. The youth of the country generally lack patience to wait and watch for instance, a palm plantation grow and mature over some years and so on any day if I am to recommend to a youth what to farm, I will advice the person to consider farming crops with shorter maturity time, like maize, sweet potato, garden eggs etc.
The government also have a role to play but that shouldn't stop a youth from venturing into farming if the help doesn't come. Most of us grew up visiting farms or gardens with our parents but we have turned our backs towards one of the backbones of the countries economy. The statistics for food importation in the country is really disturbing and I feel the youth venturing into agriculture would help the country to reduce its dependence on other countries for food.
The youth can start little by cultivating crops like sweet potato, ginger etc on a piece of land and sell the produce when they are harvested. I will always recommend the aforementioned crops to a starter because they have a longer shelf life and you don't have to undertake enormous agronomic practices till you harvest them. There is an issue with post harvest loss in the country because of the lack of storage and processing facilities and so if a youth is planning on venturing into farming, he or she should consider if what he or she is growing has the market demand, if not he or she should disengage themselves until there is market for the particular crop. Collaborating with like-minded youth to setting up a farm is also a wise way to go if you are afraid of incurring loss; as the loss would be shared across board and it won't felt much individually.
There is actually so much to be earned in farming if it is done the right way. The youth shouldn't shy off seeking help from experienced persons when they encounter any difficulty along the line. Farming can only be a future stepping stone for the country if the youth takes up these responsibilities in their numbers. The government has a part to play in this but even if it doesn't come, start small and you will get to where you can produce more and earn more.
There is actually money in the soil.
Watch this space for more on agriculture in Ghana.
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