The Member of Parliament for the Korle Klottey Constituency, Hon. Dr. Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings, has commended Agrihouse Foundation for being a proactive and forward-thinking organization investing in human capacity building for the youth and individual Ghanaians interested in agriculture.
She said it is impressive to see how the organization is continuously working, and not just talking; how it’s constantly on the ground, working with students and investing in agri-startups for the youth.
Dr. Agyeman Rawlings made these comments yesterday, at the launch of the fourth edition of the fourth edition of the Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp (AG-STUD), organized annually by Agrihouse Foundation.
She said AG-STUD is a sustainable, profitable and worthwhile initiative because it empowers the Ghanaian agri-youth with practical knowledge that enables him or her to make money and also put food on our tables in the country.
She therefore used the opportunity to also commend the different organizations that consistently come on board as partners and sponsors to support Agrihouse with its projects and events.
In light of this, the member of parliaments, who is also the Patron of AG-STUD, noted that Government must not be the sole engine running the country’s agricultural sector.
She said the agricultural sector is a multibillion industry, which Ghana has not quite tapped into yet, emphasizing the private sector must lead the agenda in greater portions, for government to supplement the such efforts.
She therefore complimented AG-STUD alumina’s who were present at the launch to share their experiences of the project; the impacts it has had on them, and how they have in groups and individuals been able to start agri-projects.
For her part, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Ms. Alberta Nana Aykaa Akosa, noted that, this year’s edition of AG-STUD seeks to empower the agri-youth to become a resilient and effective food producer, in line with the food security goals of the country.
She said the theme for this year’s bootcamp is, “We have Enabled and Established the agri-youth! Now it’s time to scale them up to feed Ghana,” and therefore, the event is expected to be more practical than previous editions.
She used the opportunity to extend immense gratitude to sponsors and partnering organizations who were present to support the launch of AG-STUD. They included: MINISTRY OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE (MOFA), NATIONAL FARMERS AND FISHERMEN AWARD WINNERS ASSOCIATION OF GHANA (NFFAWAG), OCP GHANA, AGRIC DEVELOPMENT BANK, HOLLAND AKOKOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA), THE GHANA POULTRY PROJECT (GPP), ROCKLAND FARMERS LIMITED, NANAAM VENTURES, SOYA BEANS MEAL LIMITED, PETROSOL AND NEW OKAFF INDUSTRIES LIMITED.
In a keynote address, the Chief of Party of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Ghana Poultry Project (GPP), noted that, it’s unfortunate many people hold the myth that the youth is not interested in agriculture.
She said that myth is untrue because, through its mentorship program, GPP has realized that most youth are just not interested in agricultural activities that limit their imagination, potential and modern commercial prospects.
“They are rather extremely interested in a modernized approach of agriculture, where they can utilize their mobile phones, new techniques, and computers to manage their poultry farms,” she stressed.
She therefore stated that, to engage and empower the young people in agriculture, the needs to be able to address young people’s aspirations and their expectations, adding that, social mobility should be a central target so that farming can be a real business for young people and their families.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Regional Head of AGRA, Mr. Foster Boateng, said AG-STUD is a good initiative that trains the youth and builds their capacity, while exposing them to the development and scaling out of technologies in agriculture.
He noted that, transforming agriculture into a highly productive and sustainable system requires strong human and institutional capacities, thus, AGRA’s capacity building initiatives take a holistic approach at educating, training and mentoring.
He said Agrihouse is therefore working in the right direction, providing real opportunities for the youth, and that is why his outfit is committed to partnering Agrihouse to develop and inspire new generations of young agripreneurs in the country.