Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, Upper West Regional Minister has stated that migrating as a result of famine is an unacceptable phenomenon that needs to be addressed.
He said migration in Ghana was a common activity but with regards to the Upper West Region, it was alarming as many of the youth after the farming season travel to the south in search of non-existing jobs resulting in some dropping out of school and some engaging in social vices.
Alhaji Alhassan who stated this during the 37th World Food Day/2nd Upper West Food Day Celebration at Wechiau in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region noted that the canker could be reduced if the youth were gainfully employed.
He said dry season farming was one of the avenues that could be explored to engage the youth after the main season, noting that government recognized this and that was the reason why it promised to build a dam in every village in the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions.
He said fortunately for the region, plans were far advanced to rehabilitate some of the old dams and the construction of new ones under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) programme of the European Union (EU) in the region.
The Regional Minister said government had made provision for the construction of ware-houses in every region for the storage of farm produce to prevent post-harvest losses.
“All the foregoing policy initiatives are indications of the government commitment in making Ghana a food sufficient economy”, Alhaji Alhassan said.
Naa Danyagiri Walamani, the Chief of Torkali pointed out that one of the many causes of hunger was the misapplication of agro-chemicals particularly ‘condemn’ which he said had negative effect on both crops and the soil.
“It is my plea that the application of this chemical on our grass and crops be stopped for us to restore the fertility of our soil to give us better yields from our crops as it is in the past”, he pleaded.
Mr. Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah, Upper West Regional Director of Agriculture explained that the World Food Day was a day set aside by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) to help raise people’s awareness of problems in Food Supply and Distribution.
The global theme is “Change the future of migration: Invest in food security and rural development” while the regional sub-theme is “Mitigating the annual migration through irrigated agriculture and other alternative livelihoods”.
Mr. Yeboah noted that this called for support from government, NGOs, Development Partners in the form of irrigation dams, roads, processing of farm produce, marketing, entrepreneurial skill development and start-up capital for the youth.
The Regional Director of Agriculture believed if this enabling environment was effectively created, the youth would certainly embrace it and stay to work in happiness.
Mr. Edward Laabiir Sabo, Wa West District Chief Executive (DCE) said the celebration of the World Food Day in the district would raise awareness among farmers on the need to increase food production and ensure food security.
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