Abraham Dwuma Odoom — Former Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development
Abraham Dwuma Odoom — Former Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development

2nd Youth in Agribusiness Festival held in Kumasi

The former Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in the President Kufuor Administration, Abraham Dwuma Odoom, has called on Ghanaians to patronise locally grown food to support the local economy to grow.

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He said the only way for the local companies to succeed was for Ghanaians to consume foods grown here rather than patronising imported food items to the detriment of the local economy.

By doing so, he said, Ghanaians would be helping the local industries to expand and create job opportunities and reduce the unemployment rate in the country.

Youth in agribusiness festival

Mr Odoom made the call during the second Youth in Agribusiness Festival organised by the JA Kufuor Foundation for the youth in Kumasi. He said the agriculture sector had the capacity to create a lot of employment opportunities and reduce unemployment and also contribute to the food security of the country.

Notwithstanding the potential of the sector to create wealth for the country, he said not much attention had been paid to it, leaving it to the practitioners to find their feet.

No philosophy

Mr Odoom said there was no philosophy behind any African agriculture due to the lack of investment in research. “We don’t have any African philosophy behind the things that we do in agriculture. There is no philosophy.

“Agriculture, for me, is your culture, your health and your security. And what you eat makes you who you are,” he said. He said most of the research in agriculture conducted on the continent were sponsored by the Western countries who would later describe the produce from the continent to be contaminated with chemicals.

“Why are we talking about chemical fertilisers when in their own country they prefer organic food?” he asked. He called for support for local farmers and innovators such as Apostle Kwadwo Safo to produce organic fertilisers in large quantities to supply to farmers in the country.

He said it was about time the government approached agriculture differently and found a new financial arrangement to make credit available to the sector. “We must do something different. Do the unusual thing to get the unusual result,” he said.

Objective

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah, said the festival was instituted to get the youth involved in agriculture. He said it has been observed that the country’s farmers were growing and there was no programme or plan to replace them.

He said if care was not taken, when the current farmers leave the scene, there might not be anyone to take over from them. The programme was therefore, designed to create a platform for the youth and the players and experts within the industry to interact and to also serve as role models for the youth.

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