"By no means am I saying that farming is not good, but most farmers are not farmers by choice in Ghana. Most African farmers are not farmers by choice; they are farmers by force because there is nothing to do," the founder of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) said in church on Sunday, 2 October, adding: "I don’t believe in the youth going into farming."
Teaching his congregation about identifying people's talent and making the best of it, Dr Otabil said he found it befuddling that a country like Ghana would be pushing young people into farming when already 70% of Ghanaians are farmers.
"I believe that a nation should not be encouraging everybody to be farmers. I don't think we need more than 5% of Ghanaians as farmers. All we need to do is to do it well so a few people can produce for more than all of us.
"Less than 3% of most developed nations are into agriculture. The whole agricultural industry, including those who produce, process and market and everything in the United States is just about 6%. Here [in Ghana] we have 70% [of people in farming] – not processing, but producing – and we can’t feed ourselves.
"It's not the number of people in farming, it's the quality of the farming and we shouldn't be pushing young bright people and say: 'Go to the land!'. That's not the way. I don't want to have people with talent reduced to farmers and miners and workers with their body. I want people to work with their brain, with their ideas," he said.