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The students’ body in the faculties of Agriculture in the various tertiary institutions has called on government to consider the establishment of state farms as one of the surest ways of drastically reducing unemployment and ensuring food security in the country.
The body believes that their expertise can equally be brought to bear on the field just us other professional bodies, such as teacher, nurses and doctors aside from going into private farming.
The president of the International Association of Students in Agriculture and related sciences; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) branch, Mr. Desmond Nana Yaw Aboagye, made the call in an interview with this paper in Kumasi.
He stressed that with state farms, machinery and modernity acquisition would be a basic necessity that would ensure high productivity and quality.
“Planting for Food and Jobs,” he said, should not be left to peasant farmers, as well as local ones alone, but rather there is the urgent need to revisit the concept of state farms which could create more employment, increase productivity, as well as assuring the graduate from an agriculture-related institution a practical field experience.
Mr. Aboagye also appealed to government to see meat production as an import component of agriculture and invest heavily in that aspect since, according to him, the rate at which meat products are imported into the country is so alarming and that if it continues could soar the unemployment rate in the country.
He noted that with governments support and revamping of state farms, farmers can produce to meet the growing demand of the country and for export.
The president also called on government to give the needed recognition to issues that have to do with agriculture and to ensure that allowances of agricultural students are restored without any further delay, just as it has done to teacher and nursing trainees.
“It should not only be a rhetoric that agriculture is the backbone of the nation’s economy but this must be backed by action,” he stated.
Mr. Aboagye however encouraged his colleagues to begin to approach issues as professionals and with diligence and foresight and eschew undermining one another since their actions and inactions can have impact on society either positively or negatively and thereby affecting national development.
Source: Lawrence Kumah || therepublicnewsonline.com, Kumasi