As concerns over youth unemployment continue to dominate discussions ahead of the 2022 budget presentation, auditing giant, KPMG, has urged government to introduce digitilisation in the agriculture sector in order to leverage the enormous opportunities it offers in job creation.
According to a survey the accounting firm conducted in the business community across several sectors, many respondents indicated that they would like to see deliberate policies targeted at creating jobs to address the youth unemployment canker.
It is against this background that Head of Advisory and Markets, Andy Akoto, has called on government to focus more on the agriculture sector in delivering jobs, as is the best available option the country has to create numerous jobs.
“In terms of creating sustainable employment, one of the areas we cannot lose sight of is the agriculture sector. To the extent that we can carry on with some of the programmes currently in place, such as Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Exports, among others, we believe that we have a fine opportunity to lift a lot of our people into gainful employment, especially, when we are able to link the agriculture sector to manufacturing where we talk about agribusiness.
That for me is the immediate opportunity that we can latch into because it presents an opportunity for us to add value to the most basic of work and production that we currently have in the system. In doing so, I believe we need to be very efficient with how we are going about it,” he said at a press conference in Accra on Monday.
Mr. Akoto added that even though agriculture provides a comparable advantage to the country, given the enormous arable land available, without adding digitalisation to how goods are produced and marketed, it would be difficult to attract the youths to ply their trade in the sector.
“For me, the agriculture sector represents one of the best opportunities for sustainable job creation because we have a very good comparative advantage with the rest of the world… But it requires that we move from the talk shops to put in place sustainable farming and production practices linked with marketing systems that will ensure that we are going to be able to attract more and more of our students to go in there and drive the economy.
The other area that has become very topical, especially, in this pandemic is being aware that the world around us is becoming more and more interconnected, but the countries that are going to win within this interconnectedness are those that will maximise and leverage the digital economy.
We have heard a lot about digitalisation but how well are we ensuring that the key pillars for digitalisation are in place and are being driven in such a way that it improves our social economic circumstances and, thereby, widen the market for the produce that we have in other to stimulate a sustainable economy,” he said.