August 16, 2016
Improving Approaches to Mainstreaming Gender in Ghana’s Youth Policy and Youth in Agriculture Programme
Accra, Ghana—Syecomp Ghana Limited, a private agricultural research company and Federation of Young Farmers’ Ghana launched a position paper on mainstreaming youth in agriculture on Tuesday, August 16 at the Kempinski Hotel. At the launch, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Ahmed Alhassan Yakubu delivered the keynote address. The purpose of the position paper is to advocate for supporting youth in agriculture. Generally, Ghana’s agricultural development programmes lack targeted and formal policies for youth. Where they exist, youth development programmes hardly include clear and detailed provisions to mobilize national resources and policy instruments for inclusive youth participation in agriculture.
Youth unemployment continues to rise today, partially due to the skills-mismatch in the labour market among university graduates. The youth possess limited knowledge, skills and lack financial resources to effectively participate in the agriculture sector.
To address this gap and reduce poverty in Ghana, there is the need to establish a support system that guarantees young graduates’ and non-graduates exposure and participation in agricultural investment and self-employment in rural, peri-urban and urban areas.
With growing numbers of disenfranchised youth in Ghana and a strong focus on finding opportunities for their engagement and employment, there is a need for decision-makers to plan appropriate activities, through targeted interventions for maximum impact.
Through the USAID-funded Agricultural Policy Support Project (APSP), as part of Feed the Future— the U.S. government’s hunger and food security initiative, regional workshops were organized nationwide for various stakeholders to discuss and debate innovative approaches to youth engagement in agriculture.
The outcomes of the workshops led to the development of a position paper on improving policy and youth participation in agriculture.
Policy recommendations presented at the end of the regional workshop deliberations include:
- Explicit targeting of youth in agriculture policies;
- Developing a land policy/land bank system so that Ghanaian youth can have access to lease land;
- Developing credit/financial schemes targeting youth in the agricultural sector;
- Liberalizing markets for agricultural produce for youth-managed agribusinesses;
- Promoting and expanding training in agriculture and agribusiness through designing and availing relevant syllabi and infrastructure;
- Facilitating an improved information pathway;
- Investing in youth capacity in technical, entrepreneurial and managerial skills.
About Feed the Future:
Feed the Future is the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty, and undernutrition. For more information, visit www.feedthefuture.gov
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