[ 2012-07-07 ]
This Initiative Must Succeed
In times past, farming in Ghana was regarded as a
job for the uneducated and illiterate. Going into
farming or any agricultural venture was,
therefore, an anathema to the educated, much less
so for university graduates.
However, since the introduction of enterprising
agricultural polices and models, as well as the
institution of the National Best Farmer Awards
scheme, many of our educated folks, with or
without any agricultural training, have ventured
into farming and been very successful at it.
Yet ensuring food sufficiency in the country had
been and continues to be an evasive wish for
governments past and present.
That is why we are delighted by the initiative of
the College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences
(CACS) of the University of Ghana to train and
mentor agriculture graduates to become farm
Under the Rapid Results Initiative of the Graduate
Farm Entrepreneurship Project initiative, the
graduates, after training, will be offered land,
machinery and equipment to operate their own
farms, while the Ministry of Food and Agriculture
will help them with the clearing of the land and
purchasing of seeds and fertilisers to use as
starters before harvesting begins.
What is even more gratifying about the project is
the collaboration between the National Service
Secretariat and the CACS to provide a nine-month
allowance to the graduates as settlement grants
while they work to establish their own farms
within a space of one year.
The Daily Graphic thinks the project should not
end with the provision of the initial start-up
support. The government should go on to provide a
ready market for the produce as well. This is
because we know that the government is
establishing farm barns to store up produce for
the lean season and for emergencies.
However, we believe the project will be more
successful if Ghanaians change their taste for
foreign goods and consume what we grow. That calls
for more public education and a change in
attitudes and perception of locally grown food. It
is pathetic that some of us never want to see or
even taste locally produced rice but prefer to eat
If the project is to achieve its objective of
helping to establish community-based farm
management centres, then we believe we must not
neglect its educational aspect. Ghanaians must be
re-oriented towards eating the food we grow, since
that is healthier.
The Daily Graphic believes that if the nation
supports the project, we will develop a critical
mass of agricultural entrepreneurs who will change
the face of agricultural production in the
The initiative of the CACS is highly commendable
and we believe all stakeholders must support the
project to ensure its success.
Source - Daily Graphic
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