About thirty young people have been engaged to cultivate soya beans and other leguminous crops in large quantities in the Nandom Municipality. The move is to ensure that young farmers become accustomed to growing high-value crops that will yield high financial returns on their investments.
The Director of Operations at Tieme Ndo, Moses Yangnemenga, who spoke to Radio Ghana at Nandom, said the program is in line with the orgainsation’s theme: “farming as a business, enhancing the entrepreneurial capacity of smallholder farmers”.
He said if more young people realise that real money can be made from farming, they would show more interest in the venture.
Soya beans like other legumes are considered as high value crops. This is because farmers who cultivate the crops spend smaller amounts of money to cultivate the crop in large quantities. The produce is sold at a premium because of the many health benefits.
According to the Director of Operations at Tieme Ndo, Moses Yangnemenga, a bag of good soya beans could sell for as much as 200 Ghana cedis on the open market.
He said the prospects of soya beans and other legumes informed the decision to support young people to engage in its cultivation. The young people are recruited to join the farmer cooperatives of Tieme Ndo. They are then supported with inputs to cultivate the crops.
“Our parents have been farming for years but they have not been business oriented. They have just been farming for food. Per our interactions with farmers, we have realised that they are on track to chasing the hunger away but the money is still the problem.”
“We brainstormed on a way that we [Tieme Ndo] can help farmers earn some income that can feed their families and undertake other activities. We have decided to look at young people who will take farming to the next level. We are looking at how young people can make real money out of farming. We are looking at how we can produce high value crops. We [Tieme Ndo] are supporting young people and any other energetic person who wants to engage in farming,” he explained.
Mr Yangnemenga said as farmers look to incorporate machinery into the venture, it is essential to also engage in rigorous data collection. This, he said, makes it easy to track farmer and crop performance for later adjustments or substitution stressing that “data collection is key”.
“We do not want to just visit farmers without having a track record of what they farmer has done.”
Mr Yangnemenga called on government to properly streamline the Planting for Food and Jobs Program to ensure that more young people are encouraged to engage in farming.
Story filed by Mark Smith.