A non-governmental organisation (NGO) has advocated for the establishment of a common yam market in the eastern corridor of the Northern Region to ensure fair prices and a stable market for yam producers.

Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL) the new NGO under the auspices of the Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), said the eastern corridor of the region was the largest producer of yam in the country, but the farmers do not get fair prices for their produce as the commodity was perishable and the farmers had to travel long distances to the south to sell their produce at the mercy of market queens, who buy the produce at ridiculous prices.

Mrs. Jawol Vera Magan, Programme Officer for YEfL said this at a media orientation workshop organized by the GDCA and the Empowerment for Life (E4L) Programme in Tamale on Thursday.

The orientation workshop sought to foster strong collaboration and partnership with the media to enable the GDCA under whose umbrella the YEfL operates to carry out its advocacy and empowerment programme more effectively.

She said the establishment of a common yam market would also help mobilize the farmers to form a popular association and help create employment for the youth of the area.

She said other areas of concern the YEfL would be focusing on include; advocating for a national youth employment programme and a national youth policy.

Mrs. Magan said that although the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) was laudable, its politicization was not allowing it achieve its objective, and called for the de-politicization of the programme in the recruitment process and award of contracts.

On the Youth in Agriculture Programme (YiAP), Madam Magan said information gathered from the field indicated that the programme was not reaching its target areas, and expressed the hope that more efforts would be made to get the youth, especially those from the north, to benefit from the programme.

The Programme Officer of YEfL expressed worry over the delay in having a national youth policy for the country, saying that, a policy guide for all the youth groups, associations, organizations and government youth institutions, would be useful in organizing the youth to undertake meaningful ventures for the development of the country.

She said at present all the youth groups, associations and government youth institutions were operating in a vacuum without any policy framework guiding their operations.

She said the youth of the north were ideal and as a result were often engaged in riots and other vices in reaction to issues they did not understand or had different opinions about.

Madam Magan said a well organized group would give them the opportunity to channel their grievances more appropriately.

Mrs. Magan therefore called for the creation of a mass youth movement for the youth of the north to engage them in constructive ventures that would enhance the image of the members and the north in general.

Source: GNA

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