The Upper West Regional Secretariat of National Youth Authority harvested 1,022 bags of maize last year under the Youth in Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs) programme introduced to ensure food security and boost job creation.

The National Youth Authority (NYA) supported 120 youth in the region in a pilot project under the PFJs in 2018 to cultivate 120 acres of maize.

The Ghana Prison Service, a participant of the programme during the pilot project in the same year, also harvested 120 bags of maize, a feat that has encouraged the NYA to repeat the course this year.

The Director of Programmes and Operations at National Secretariat of NYA, Mr Mumuni Sulemana, said two-thirds of the produce would be given to the youth to either cultivate again or to sell to support other income generating activities.

The rest of the produce would be given to the Buffer Stock Company as part of the Authority’s contribution to ensuring food security in the country, he added.

He said the NYA piloted the programme to ascertain its potential of effectively engaging the youth in agriculture under the national PFJ programme.

Speaking at a ceremony in Wa to hand over the produce to the youth, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NYA, Mr Bright Acheampong, said it was an obligation of the youth to contribute to national development, adding: “We are all involved in building our mother land”.

He added that the success of the programme was an indication that the young men and women are ready to contribute to national development and expressed the hope that they would be able to replicate the outcome without the support of NYA.

“I hope that in this year farming season you will be able to hold forth and have the sustenance to be able to do it your own way and have the produce,” he said.

“As and when you grow and you are able to garner the needed profit out of it you will also be able to help others”.

The Deputy Director of Prisons, Mr Christopher Nyamedi, assured the NYA of the prison service’s resolve to partner with the Authority to scale up the programme for the benefit of the region and the nation.

The Acting Upper West Regional Director of NYA, Mr Archibald Donkoh Junior, said he would work to minimize the challenges the youth faced in the last year cropping season and to help improve on their activities.

“We are all aware what pilot projects are supposed to be, after the project, study it, know the challenges and what needs to be improved upon,” he said.

“We are going to put in measures to curtail some of the challenges you faced last year”.

Source: GNA