Mr Alister Djimatey, Foundation Manager and Public Relations Officer for Blueskies Company Limited, has entreated heads of schools to desist from ‘punishing’ their students by weeding.
He said the only way to encourage the youth to venture into agriculture was to let them develop love for it from school.
“If heads of schools will continue to send recalcitrant students onto the field to farm or weed as a form of punishment, then our youth will grow to see farming as penalty and not reward,” he said.
Mr Djimatey said this when Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso, Eastern Regional Minister reassigned to Volta Region, and her Deputy Ms Mavis Ama Frimpong, paid an official visit to the Blueskies Company at Nsawam.
He appealed to education authorities to institute a policy that would check that negative practice in the schools which is killing the youth’s interest in farming.
Mr Djimatey expressed dissatisfaction on how parcels of land, supposed to be fertile for farming, were being sold out to real estate developers.
He advised that authorities should identify and protect agriculture lands from other plots of land for construction purposes.
Mr Djimatey said Blueskies Company had put measures in place to soon start an inter-school competition to encourage students to appreciate farming.
He said the company, in collaboration with education directorates and the Ministry of Agriculture, would soon start piloting the programme in senior high schools in Nsawam.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders to take active part in the Blueskies Company activities to boost youth interest in farming after school.
Mrs Ruth Smith Adjei, General Manager of Blueskies, said in spite of their efforts to achieve excellence in agribusiness, the company was faced with the challenge of corruption and bureaucracy from some government agencies.
She said high utility bills, sand winning activities, land tenure system and encroachment on the company’s land which was affecting its expansion.
The General Manager expressed worry about the ordeal the company had to go through, for instance having to go through checking at 27 barriers from Burkina Faso to Nsawam when bringing fresh fruits for production.
Mrs Adjei appealed to institutions and stakeholders to help the Blueskies Company to be sustainable.
Ms Ntoso eulogized the company for their commitment to encourage agriculture, especially among the youth, and pledged to assist them in achieving that goal.
She entreated the staff, traditional authorities and the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Municipal Assembly to help the Blueskies Company to sustain business to keep the over 1,800 Ghanaian staff at post.
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