As part of efforts aimed at contributing to the growth, empowerment and sustainability of young Ghanaian agripreneurs, the Patron of the Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp, (AG-STUD-AFRICA), Hon. Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, has donated three new laptops expected to complement the intensive teaching and learning activities that characterize the annual bootcamp.
Presenting the laptops at the closing event of the 5-day bootcamp, organized by Agrihouse Foundation, Hon. Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings Donates 3 Laptops to Support Agric Students also urged the agric-students and beginner agribusinesses to continue courageously on their chosen path and be assured of consistent and sustainable support from all stakeholders.
“I cannot imagine why anyone will possibly think of demeaning agriculture as a subject. Everyone needs food and agriculture is the basis of that. It is the science behind the production of any kind of food. Anyone who does not understand the value of agriculture to human existence, does not understand why we are here. So be assured, you are in the right path,” she encouraged the students.
She also admonished the students to work together, and have the confidence that they are making a difference as young agripreneurs. “I am encouraged by the fact that we have two secondary schools here. Do not let anyone discourage you. Bear in mind, you have heavyweights in this room and some who are not here but have been with you throughout the sessions, who understand your value and are willing to invest in you. Every time you feel like you are struggling, just look around, reach out, you are not alone. We are here for you,” she said.
For his part, the Country Director of OCP Africa in Ghana, Mr. Samuel Oduro-Asare, charged the participants to always have the ‘I can do spirit’ as they start with little resources. He said being consistent would help them to available to stay relevant in whatever they are doing. We at OCP Africa are always ready to support AG-STUD and we are still committed to supporting you more this year, Mr. Oduro assured the participants.
He added, “As you leave this bootcamp, immediately hit the ground running with their agribusiness ideas when you get back to your campuses. “You are not going back the same as you came. As you go back to school, you should be different from your colleagues. You should standout out, because you are going back as potential agripreneurs.”
He said OCP would continue to offer support to the Bootcamp, to ensure its scale-up and further impacts. In the past five years, OCP Africa has been sponsors of the annual AG-STUD-Bootcamp, providing financial and technical support that have helped to empower, equip, scale-up and build the capacity of over 1,200 participants. Annual Campers have been beneficiaries of free bags of fertilizers, mentorship, agronomic services, and soil testing services.
For his part, the CEO of MyBarnes Limited, Mr. Kenneth Barnes, underscored the need for perseverance and courage in the face of challenges and discouragements. He said, “You will face challenges in this sector, but the burning desire will help you overcome them. At MyBarnes we have had our share of difficulties, but we continue to build on our interest and speed. I will encourage you to do the same; if you have passion, faith and a burning desire to achieve, you will overcome the challenges.”
In a short address read on his behalf the Managing Director of Agricultural Development Bank, Dr. John Kofi Mensah described investing in agriculture as a game-changer, and therefore commended the agric-students for choosing to build a life and make a live as agric value chain actors.
He added, “ADB is proud to be associated with the Agrihouse brand, and we are committed to deepen our involvement in your programs in future. ADB and Agrihouse share a common noble vision, which is to promote and take agribusiness to the next level. Our continuous support for agrihouse activities is borne out of the fact that Agrihouse serves as a complement to the role ADB is playing in the agric space. With this great partnership and collaboration, underpinned by unity of purpose, ADB and Agrihouse will push the agribusiness agenda to assume its rightful place in the national discourse”
The Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong, brought the 5-day Bootcamp to a close by expressing gratitude to all sponsors and collaborating institutions of this year’s event. Sponsors including, Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), OCP, Broadspectrum, Nanam Ventures, Bdiet, Kofi Venyo and Demeter. Collaborating Institutions are the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association (NFFAWAG); and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
She also expressed gratitude to all resources persons who served the vision of the Bootcamp in the capacities of mentors, trainers, coaches and speakers. She also used the opportunity to encourage the students to remain focused and determined as they worked towards building sustainable careers within the agric value chain. She urged them to make the most of the practical lessons they have received, as well as the inceptives and support packages the bootcamp has afforded them.
This year, the Bootcamp brought together 70 students-campers from institutions including the University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, All Nations University, Ghana Christian University College, Methodist University, University of Energy and Natural resources, and the University for Development Studies.
Others include, Fair River Agric Institute, Labone Senior High School, O’Reilly Senior High School, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Accra Girls Senior High School, Accra Academy High School, Ashesi University, and Adidome Agric Institute.
The rest are Asuansi Farm Institute, Damango Agric College, Ejura Agric College, Kwadaso Agric College, Wenchi Farm Institute, Ohawu Agric College, Veterinary College, Northern Youth Hub, Ashaiman Senior High School, Ngleshi Amanfro Senior High School, and Animal Health Institute.
During the 5 days, the students got the opportunity to work in, and as Teams, to develop their art of public speaking, negotiating abilities and presentation skills. The activities allowed them to further explore their creative talents, wear their innovative hats, which they demonstrated through identifying challenges, and propose solutions to them, in line with the overall Theme AG-STUD.
For the 5-day period, the number of mentors, coaches, speakers and trainers who supported the students were drawn from various organizations, including ADB, OCP, MOFA, GIPC, FDA, Nanam Ventures, Mobraz, HD+ , Sonal Global, Kofi Venyo, Bdiet and NPRA among others.
They mentored the students on thematic focuses such as 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.