Minister of State in-charge of Food and Agriculture, Dr Nura Jara, has
said government would employ 1,343
agriculture extension agents (AEAs) to add to the existing number to provide
extension and other support services for cocoa farmers to adapt best cocoa
Dr Nura Jara disclosed this at the World International Cocoa Day celebration in Sunyani organised by the Ghana Cocoa Board on the theme “Sustainable Cocoa Production for Wealth and Health”.
Agricultural extension officers are intermediaries between research and farmers. They operate as facilitators and communicators, helping farmers in their decision-making and ensuring that appropriate knowledge is implemented to obtain the best results with regard to sustainable production and general rural development.
Extension officers guide farmers to apply good agricultural practices in their production activities so as to make them efficient in the use of inputs for increased productivity to enhance farmer income.
Ghana requires at least 4,000 Agric Extension Service Officers to some meaningful work but only 2,600 are in employment currently.
Information indicates that more than half of the 2,600 Service Officers are due for retirement in the next four years.
It is estimated that there are about 5,000 extension officers who have graduated from the five Colleges of Agriculture but are unemployed because of pressure on the public sector payroll.
Source: Kofi Atakora/Joydaddymultimedia.com