She said, in all about five hundred (500) participants, with representations from government, academia, financial institutions, development partners, agricultural institutions, among others, are expected to be part of the five (5) days Bootcamp, which will be providing mentoring, training and coaching opportunities for the students and beginner agribusinesses.
The Executive Director made these known in an “AG-STUD OVER THE YEARS,” presentation, at the launch of the 5th edition of the Bootcamp, held in Accra.
She said, initiated in 2018, the Bootcamp started with eighteen (18) students, from selected agric colleges, with an aim to expose the young agripreneurs to the dynamics of the market, through education and leadership programs. “In the past four years, the number of agric- students, colleges and beginner agribusinesses have grown exponentially,” she said.
Now in its fifth year, the five (5) days Bootcamp has hosted, trained, mentored, and directly supported 750 beneficiaries to establish various Agribusinesses. Indirectly, about twelve thousand (12,000) non-campers have benefitted from the mentoring, coaching, Competence-Based Training and Corporate Field Tours the Bootcamp offers. Presently, some alumni’s have established about seventy-three (73) thriving agribusinesses.
Dauda Mustapha a student of the All-Nations University who was a part of the AGSTUD Bootcamp in 2020 was supported with input to start a watermelon farm. Through the training and leadership skills acquired at the bootcamp he diversified by going into cowpea production as well. After harvesting when it was difficult, to access market for his watermelons (initial buyers pulled out before harvest at the peak of the COVID pandemic) the proceeds from the sale of cowpea enabled him to stay in business. He also had about 5 acres of land and planted yellow corn. The yellow corn did well and he was able to supply some poultry farmers in Northern Ghana when there was scarcity in 2021
Young James Elikem Brown, a past student of English Amanfrom SHS who was part of the Bootcamp last year, is currently cultivating a successful pineapple farm. James went into value addition after the Bootcamp, and has now registered his fruit juice company with the Food and Drugs Authority. Together with some University Graduates, he is working on a project aimed at encouraging more young people to venture into the agricultural sector.
Obed Asamoah was part of the 2019 Cohorts. He was assisted with a seed capital of Gh500 to start his mushroom farm. Within two years Obed has scaled up his production and currently supplies to African Shops in the US and UK on order. He also trains an average of 40 students each semester in Mushroom production. He also serves as a trainer at the Livestock, Poultry, Fisheries Training and Tradeshow. Obed, a natural-born leader got his skills harnessed at the Bootcamp. Through dint of hard work, he has earned a scholarship to pursue graduate studies in Asia.
This year, the 70 students-campers will be from Ejura Agric College, Kwadaso, Damango, Ohaw, Wenchi, Fair River, Asuanzi, Animal Health, Adidome and College of Agric and Environmental Studies. Others include Central University, Methodist University, Ghana Christian College, University of Ghana, UCC, Catholic University, Northern Youth hub, University of Energy and Natural resources and Ashesi University.
Touching on the activities lined-up for the five (5) day Bootcamp, Ms. Akosa Sarpong said, the outlined daily agenda is aimed at getting the campers to work in, and as Teams, develop their art of public speaking, negotiating abilities and presentation skills.
The activities outlined will also get them to further explore their creative and wear their innovative hats, which is expected to assist them identify challenges and propose solutions, in line with the overall Theme AG-STUD.
For the 5-day period, a number of mentors, coaches, speakers and trainers from various organizations, including ADB, OCP, MOFA, GIPC, FDA, Nanam Ventures, Mobraz, HD+, Sonal Global, Kofi Venyo, Bdiet and NPRA among others.
They will also equip, coach, train and guide the campers through the thematic focuses on Communication, E-Agric, Food Safety Management principles, attractive and limitless investment Agric opportunities, digital marketing, financial proposal development, Do’s and Dont’s in building an Agribusiness and saving the agri-future through talents and creativity and many more.
There will also be morning Disciplinary and Keep fit drills, in partnership with Blue Skies and other innovative fun-related activities within their 5-day period.
We are excited about the opportunities this year’s AG-STUD presents, the choices it will guide the campers to make and the path to take in realizing and growing a future in Agribusiness, with a focus on digitalization.
The youth of today has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that, we can drive an agenda, push a project, implement an idea, when given the needed motivation, mentorship, encouragement, the necessary tools, resources , we should be able to deliver, and that is exactly what we are delivering at this year’s AG-STUD AFRICA, Alberta concluded.
The Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp, have over the years been supported by ADB, OCP, Mybarnes, CDF Canada.