Former Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, has stated that Ghana will continue to seek financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) until the country uses its natural resources wisely and prioritizes agriculture.
Investing in agriculture, he believes, will provide fertile ground for industries that will help the country become self-sufficient and self-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,” he said.
He made these comments at the 2023 Akufo Hall National Best Farmers’ Lecture held at the University of Ghana (UG) in Accra.
The focus of the lecture was on the topic “Resilience, Technology, and Humanism: The Past, the Present, and the Future of the Ghanaian Farmer.”
The rationale behind the lecture is to make agriculture a great venture for the youth of Ghana and thus transform their lives.
He adds that countries like India have benefited enormously from agriculture because they saw it as a game changer and took advantage of it, propelling them to produce enough food to feed their citizens and other countries.
He notes that India is not concerned about the war in Russia and Ukraine because it does not depend on the two countries for food.
He said Ghana lacks the can-do spirit to make agriculture a great venture and attractive for the youth.
He appeals to the government to take agriculture seriously as a country, to yield the efforts of the University of Ghana through Akuafo Hall in fostering the interest of the youth in agriculture, and to build on that momentum.
“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 reiterates.
Prof. Kwaku Oppong Asante, Akuafo Hall Master, points out that the hall is readily ready to host a Farmers’ Center of Excellence to champion the monitoring of students who would show interest in making farming a huge business avenue.
He also adds that the Hall would provide fertile grounds for an office on campus for the National Best Farmer and take charge of organizing a farmer’s symposium to be held annually, all in a way to make agriculture attractive to the Ghanaian youth.