Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, says, the lack of private sector investment in government’s One-District-One Factory policy is negatively affecting the success of the policy in the region.
According to him, though the One District, One Factory policy is expected to alleviate poverty by creating jobs for the youth, the absence of a strong private sector investors in the region is hindering the implementation of the policy.
Speaking at the 38th National farmers’ day celebration in Bolgatanga, Stephen Yakubu, appealed to investors to collaborate with government under the One District, One Factory policy to harness government value-addition industrialization drive and poverty reduction strategy.
“We are privileged to be endowed with arable land and water resources for agricultural productivity. We have to effectively harness these resources within the context of value-added agriculture rather than selling our farm products in their raw state for the economic and social transformation of our communities. It is against this background that we need the private sector as the engine of growth to partner government to fashion the industrialization drive under the One District, One Factory policy.”
“Unfortunately for us, the absence of a strong private sector in the region has hindered the implementation of this policy to a very large extent. I hereby wish to appeal to investors to consider collaborating with the departments of agriculture and our assemblies for a partnership on this industrialization drive. Our farmers would also have to take advantage of these interventions to upscale their productions along the value chain.” he said.
Mr. Yakubu hinted that government in 2023 would roll out polices to enhance value-added agricultural productivity in a bid to stabilise the depreciation of the cedi.
He reiterated government’s commitment to using a $150 million World Bank facility social cohesion (SOCO) project to equip the youth with employable skills and start-up capital to enhance agriculture and address climate change effects.
For his part, Regional Director of MOFA, Fuseine Zakaria called on government to address the rising cost of agricultural inputs and recurrent outbreaks of diseases to attain food security.
He commended government and donors for their enormous support in the agric sector and impressed them to devote more funding to agriculture to achieve food sufficiency.
The regional best farmer, Awintuna Akande, admonished the youth especially graduates to venture into agriculture instead of seeking white colour jobs.
He indicated that agriculture has great prospects for the youth only if they can leverage on interventions and dedicate their energies towards value addition.
Mr. Akande bemoaned high cost of farm inputs and government’s lip service to the agric sector as a hindrance to farmers and impressed on government to allocate more funds and interventions to ameliorate the plight of farmers.
The regional farmers’ day celebration saw gallant farmers of various categories going home with numerous awards such as motor tricycles, fridges and fertilizers.