Dr Sagre Bambangi, a Deputy Minister of Agriculture, has expressed satisfaction with the achievement of some young farmers through the collaboration between the Youth in Agriculture Programme (YIAP) and Masara N’Arziki.

He said he was particularly impressed at how young people have enthusiastically embraced farming, taken advantage of the resources provided through the collaboration to increase the sizes of their farms tremendously.

Dr Bambangi, who gave the impression while addressing a farmer’s durbar in Bullu in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region after a field visit to some beneficiaries’ farms, was full of joy upon hearing some good testimonies from the young farmers.
“Such testimonies are heartwarming and I can only encourage those who are sitting on the fence to jump into the programme and make their pockets ‘cool’ through farming”, he said.

The Deputy Agriculture Minister said government has placed a lot of premium on making use of improved technologies in agriculture to maximise productivity and also address problems of marketing to enhance profitability.

“Hence the government’s flagship programme “Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs)” revolves around these improved technologies as well as the improvement of marketing to make agriculture attractive to many especially our teaming youth”, Dr Bambangi said.

He said government was providing adequate motivation to attract over 250,000 youth to participate in the PFJs campaign in the next four years as direct farmers off-takers and millers among others.

Dr Bambangi admonished the hardworking farmers to continue to work harder and maintain the trust between them and their partners for mutual benefits.

“The relationship between farmers and partners such as YIAP and Masara can only be mutually beneficial if input credits are well recovered for the sustainability of the programmes”, he said.

Mr Klutse Kudomor, YIAP National Coordinator, said the new phase of YIAP was to empower the youth economically through the creation of Youth ‘Agripreneurs’ (Youth Agribusiness Owners) through the “Learn-Achieve-Earn” (LEA) concept.

He said arrangements have been made for off-takers to buy back the produce of farmers in order to solve the issue of farm businesses not having access to markets that really paid market prices to reward the efforts of farmers.

Mr Kudomor announced that under the project, the youth have so far cropped over 30,000 acres of maize and 5,500 acres of rice, noting that the Sissala East District of the Upper West Region was an important hub of the programme.

Mr Samuel Sey, the Executive Secretary of Masara N’Arziki, said the partnership with YIAP has enabled Masara to address the concerns affecting its delivery to members last year.

“YIAP’s linkage enabled Masara to access inputs through the government PFJs programme on credit basis”, he noted and assured of good repayment by the close of the season in reflection of the company’s reputation over the years.

Mr Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, applauded YIAP and Masara for supporting farmers in the area, noting that such support would in no small way help farmers increase yield and the Sissala area continues to remain one of the major food baskets of the country.

The durbar was held under the theme: “Creating Youth Agribusinesses through Youth in YIAP/Masara Collaboration.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh