Agric sector initiatives will help address youth unemployment – MasterCard Foundation CEO

The government of Ghana should be commended for efforts to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farmers through the determination of a floor price for the commodity.

That is the claim of the President and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation, Reeta Roy.

She is confident the move will boost agric as it will attract more youth into the sector.

The announcement of a floor price for cocoa farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast is to improve the lot of the cocoa farmers.

Although the two countries control about 60 percent of the global supply of cocoa, they are least beneficiaries of the return from the value of the cash crop.

This led to a meeting with stakeholders involving regulators in both countries.

The approval is also to be triggered from the 2020/2021 crop year.

The President and CEO of MasterCard Foundation whose outfit has already supported the youth in Africa with some two billion dollars to empower them economically says the move positions Ghana to attract more investments into the agric sector.

“What is exciting to work in a country like Ghana is that there is a very clear economic strategy. There is a clear agenda priorities are set for not only the sub sectors but there is also ambition to connect earning power in revenue and translate that into investing in people’s education, better infrastructure, housing and at the end of the day, better opportunities for young people,” she remarked.

Aside this, stakeholders in the cocoa supply chain have also been benefitting from new payment systems to drive the government’s financial inclusion agenda.

Despite these developments, the issue of access to credit is still cited as one concerns facing persons seeking to operate in the agricultural sector to improve their economic livelihoods.

Traditional banks have considered the sector as a risky venture hence their hesitation.

But Reeta Roy believes there is a way out in surmounting this hurdle.

“Just because something goes digital doesn’t take away the basics of educating people on how to take accountability in terms of taking on loans, how to understand interest rates and how to calculate payments so that it fits within their lives. There are a number of actors who are within the value chain…there are many touchpoints which interact with farmers. So it is important to take the value chain approach and understand so that the whole chain can thrive.”

 

Source: citibusinessnews