Former Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, says the country will continue to run to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support until it utilises its natural resources well and pays attention to agriculture.
He said investments in the sector would give rise to giant industries that would make the country self-sufficient and reliant.
“Today, we are at the IMF for the 17th time, and we shall continue to go to the IMF unless we make good use of the matters of the soil, the fruits of the soil naturally given to us by our God,” Prof Oquaye said.
He said this at the 2023 Akufo Hall National Best Farmers’ Lecture held at the University of Ghana (UG) in Accra.
The lecture was on the topic “Resilience, Technology, and Humanism: The Past, the Present and the Future of the Ghanaian Farmer.”
The purpose was to make agriculture attractive to the youth of the country to transform their lives.
Prof Oquaye said countries such as India saw the benefits of agriculture and took advantage of it and are now able to produce enough food to feed their citizens and other nationals.
He said India was not worried about the war in Russia and Ukraine because it did not depend on the two countries for food.
Ghana, on the other hand, was seriously affected by the war due to its reliance on the two countries for food despite the vast arable lands it possesses, Prof Oquaye said.
He called on the government to pay critical attention to the efforts of the University of Ghana through the Akuafo Hall in whipping up the interest of the youth in agriculture and ‘fly’ on that.
“If our farmers can sustain us so that we can have food in abundance and not import over-stored food, then Ghana will not catch cold when Russia and Ukraine sneeze,” he said.
Prof Kwaku Oppong Asante, Akuafo Hall Master, said the Hall is ready to host a Farmers’ Center of Excellence to spearhead the monitoring of students who would show interest in making farming a business.
He also said the Hall would offer an office on campus to the National Best Farmer and take charge of the organisation of a farmer’s symposium to be organised annually all in the bid to make farming attractive to the youth.
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