The Director of Bui Dam, Mr. Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, who is also the Executive Director of Tesyd Farm Limited, has bemoaned the lack of interest of the youth of the Volta Region to engage in farming, but rather prefer working as ‘okada’ riders.
The Executive Director of Tesyd Farm Limited, the biggest cashew farmer in Ghana, explained that currently, he had cultivated 1,000 acres of cashew at Vakpo in the North Dayi District of the Volta Region and 850 acres of cashew at Nsawkwa in the Bono Region.
Mr. Dzamesi, who was briefing the media on his farm at Vakpo, said he was surprised that the majority of the youth in the Volta Region did not show any interest when he advertised for workers to work on the farm at Vakpo.
According to him, the few that responded stopped working after saving their monthly salary of GH¢600 for some time to buy motorbikes.
According to the former Volta Regional Minister, the development compelled him to employ workers from the Northern Region, including the farm manager, Mr. Edmond Jabong Biasuka, stressing that he currently employs 10 permanent workers on the farm at Vakpo, but still needed 20 more, which he is not getting.
Mr. Dzamesi further told the reporters that he takes good care of his workers, and that he gives them free accommodation, water and electricity, provision of a free meal once a day, as well as paying their Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions to secure their future.
He commended the youth at Nsawkwa where his other farm is located for showing the interest to farm contrary to what their counterparts in the Volta Region were doing. The Director of the Farms said because of the lack of interest being shown by the youth at Vakpo, his farm manager has to employ the services of prisoners to work on the farm.
He explained that though he had not received any support from the government since he started in 2018 to expand the farms, the approval of the cashew as a cash crop was enough motivation, and that the youth should take advantage of the situation and go into commercial farming of the crop, because the market for it and that of mango was already in existence.
He said every part of the cashew crop was of economic importance, and that the seed and cover could be processed for various economic uses, while the fruit was used for the production of alcohol.
The biggest cashew farmer in the country said the crop also helps to reclaim destroyed vegetation as a result of human activities, and that the farm could be sustained for 60 years.
Mr. Dzamesi said okro, tomatoes, garden eggs, pepper, cassava, maize, potatoes and yams could be grown alongside cashew until the latter was fully grown. This, he argued, made the business very lucrative.
The Tesyd Farm Limited at Vakpo signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vakpo Traditional Council, led by Togbe Gbogbolulu, for the lease of the 1,000 acres of land on which the cashew was planted. The company takes 90 percent of sales made after harvesting, with the remaining 10 percent going to the Traditional Council.