by Justice Lee Adoboe
ACCRA, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- One of the measures being adopted by the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Africa to check distressed migration is by creating opportunities in agriculture, Deputy Director General and African Regional Representative Bukari Tijani disclosed here on Monday.
Addressing the African Regional Food Day as part of activities marking World Food Day (WFD), in Africa Tijani said FAO was also looking at supporting institutional capacities to deal with large movements of refugees and migrants from agriculture and poor rural point settings scaling up innovative solutions to migrations, food insecurity and in rural development.
"FAO is addressing the root causes and drivers of distressed migration; it's also helping to create agriculture and offer more opportunities for youth, women and others who might otherwise migrate," he announced at the celebration on the theme: "Changing the Future of Migration-Invest in Food Security and Rural Development."
With 763 million migrants across the world as of 2013 and 65.3 million people across the world who are forcefully displaced by conflict and persecution, remittances stood at 600 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 with Developing Countries receiving more than 400 billion dollars out of that.
Tijani said the FAO will also team up with the International Organization on Migration (IOM) and the Global Migration Group (GMG) to seek solutions to illegal migration, administrative migration; movements of people; movements of different remittances; how migration can be done in an orderly manner and how remittances can be used in countries where migrants come from in the diaspora.
Christine Evans-Klock, United Nation's Country Representative in Ghana, lauded the West African country for making a strong commitment to transforming agriculture from being subsistent and drudgery, to being instead a thriving business and the basis for manufacturing growth.
"In turning this vision to reality, agriculture and rural development offer a great potential to addressing migration challenges;Scaling up support to smallholder family farmers; creating opportunities for sustainable off-farm livelihoods in rural areas, investing in water management infrastructure, creating enabling environment for the private sector in agro-processing are among the feasible options that can accelerate job opportunities in rural areas for women and youth," she stressed.
A Minister of State at the Ministry for Food and Agriculture Nurah Gyeile intimated that the Ghanaian government supports the use of cooperation to address the structural drivers of migration and create conditions that allow communities to live in peace and prosperity in their homelands, adding that the government was particularly interested in creating those conditions that allow people to stay in their homes instead of migrating to other places.
"The programs launched so far, talk of Planting for food and jobs -- it is to ensure food security-direct response to food insecurity; One village One-dam is to create the reaction to Climate Change and we have One District-One Factory that has also been pursued by government and this is to make sure that in all rural areas jobs are created," the minister added.
He argued that when jobs are created, migration out of the rural areas will decrease.