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Dr. Afriyie Akoto

Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto, has called on players in the private sector to support government’s flagship programmes by engaging the youth.

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According to him, the youth need to take advantage of the numerous flagship programmes- ‘Planting for Food and Jobs,’ ‘Planting for Jobs and Rural Development,’ ‘One Village, One Dam’ ‘One District, One Factory’ to create sustainable and viable agribusinesses for themselves.

To this end, he called for research to promote agribusinesses.

Dr Akoto disclosed this in a keynote address read on his behalf at AFGIAC II, an annual forum on government, industry and academia collaboration hosted by the African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE) on Thursday in Accra.

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He said the agriculture sector employs about 35.95 percent of Ghana’s active labour force and serves as a major source of revenue for government

The Minister added that a substantial growth is likely to have a huge impact on the country’s economy.

In 2015, Ghana’s total revenue from non-traditional exports alone amounted to $2.522 billion (GH¢9.210 billion).

Indicating that Ghana had competitive advantage in the production of high-value horticultural crops, he said “despite these strengths and opportunities, MoFA is also confronted by weaknesses and threats that could compromise agribusiness development, if not properly addressed.”

Nicolas Gebara, BUSAC Fund MAnager, in a remark, said ABCDE had identified a mismatch between the number of white collar jobs and the large number of graduates coming out of the country’s universities and technical institutes.

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Also, he said government and other international organisations had realized that the youth constitute about 60 percent of the unemployed population in Ghana, mirroring the epidemic of high youth unemployment across Africa.

He, therefore, backed the calls for collaboration between government and private sector organisations to help reverse the trend and give hope to unemployed youth.

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