Hence, there is a need to come up with effective and sustainable turnaround solutions, as a country, to create formidable partnerships towards providing job (entrepreneurship) opportunities for young women, and the youth in general. This will help reduce the rate of unemployment among the youth and ensure they live happy and fulfilled life. Agrihouse Foundation, has over the years, been championing this cause by designing and implementing agri-focused projects and event that seek to bridge unattended to gaps and opportunities within the agricultural value chain.
These projects include the Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogues Bootcamp (AG- STUD); and Livestock Poultry & Fisheries Trade Show (LiPF). The rest are, the International Farmers and Agribusiness Resilience and Sustainability Convention (INTAFAC) Women in Food and Agricultural Leadership Forum (WOFAGRIC) and Gold in the Soil Awards; Annual Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Conference and Exhibitions; The Agrihouse Agri-Woman Market Place; Agri-Watch; 1 household, 1 Garden Initiative (1h,1g).
Sustainable Partnerships and Measurable Impacts
The measurable successes and socio-economic impacts of these annual/monthly events and projects in the lives of beneficiaries continue to draw well wishes, financial and technical support from several stakeholders within the agricultural sector who align with the vision and mission of Agrihouse Foundation. One of such significant personalities is the Member of Parliament for the Korle Klottey Constituency, Hon. Dr. Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings, who serves a resource person and patron of the annual AG-STUD Bootcamp. The Bootcamp which seek to empower agric students, beginner agribusinesses and start- up’ expertise, while exposing them to the dynamics of the market, through education and leadership programs essential for achieving success in agriculture and agribusiness.
Agricultural Capacity Building and Business Set-Up Roadshow (NAGRICA)
In the spirit of this dedication and commitment, the Honorable Member of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings, is currently collaborating with Agrihouse Foundation to implement the Agricultural Capacity Building and Business Set-Up Roadshow (NAGRICA) tagged – It’s Possible— an initiative seeking to offer free training and create employment for young people, women and person with disability (PWD’s) across the country.
The focus of the Agricultural Roadshow is to train and setup over 27,500 young people nationwide in rabbit, mushroom and snail rearing businesses over a 36 months period. These young people will be associated with a registered cooperative to continuously provide them with farm income and establish a sustainable small-scale rabbit and mushroom enterprises across all the 16 regions to be managed by beneficiaries. The Agricultural Capacity Building and Business Set-Up Roadshow, as part of addressing unemployment and the lack of skills training will therefore provide rabbit and mushroom training for 27,500 young people within three years: 2021, 2022 and 2023. Thus, 10,000 (2021), 10,000 (2022) and 7,500 (2023).
Starter pack Incentives for Beneficiaries
The project will further distribute 2 rabbits (a buck and does) to young people after training to start their rabbit breeding and support with cash to get the initial resources needed; develop rabbit and mushroom farmer leaders in the communities who will ultimately take over the programme and train younger ones. Beneficiaries of the mushroom farming aspect of the initiative would be supported with all resources they will need to start.
It is the intention of organizers to coordinate market activities for young people; liaise with restaurants and chops-bars to get a ready market for rabbit meat, while teaching beneficiaries how to keep records, market produce and accounts, and train them on how to use social media to sell their produce. The target group for this project are young women and the youth in general. Special focus will be placed on these groups; any youth between 15–48 years, Unemployed graduates, Persons with disabilities who are unable to engage in formal employment, Young women and People looking for additional revenue. The project will take place in all 16 regions including Oti Region, Bono East Region, Ahafo Region, Bono Region, North East Region, Savannah Region, Western North Region, Western Region, Volta Region, Greater Accra Region, Eastern Region, Ashanti Region, Central Region, Northern Region, Upper East Region and Upper West Region.
‘It’s Possible’ Roadshow to Kick-off on Dec 16, with First Leg in Accra
On Thursday, the first leg of the Agricultural Capacity Building and Business Set-Up Roadshow will kick-off in Accra, with a 3-days intensive and practical training programme, after a section process, which took place three months ago, in October. The project, which is now set to commence its first leg of the training programmes for beneficiaries in Greater Accra region, is expected to take place at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel from Thursday, December 16th and ends Saturday, December 18th. Seven hundred and eleven (711) applications were received in the Greater Accra region. A hundred and fifty (150) applicants were shortlisted from the screening, with 20 extra beneficiaries from the physically challenged community.
Practical Training Sessions & Activities for the 3-days Intensive Event
The upcoming 3-days training programme, will cover practical training lessons on mushroom Farming, rabbit and snail rearing, with the snail rearing reserved solely for the physically challenged amongst the participants. The training topics will focus on areas such as Rabbit, Mushroom and Snail Production; Processing and Packaging; Accounting and Bookkeeping; Stock Distribution; Nutrition, Feeding, housing, Marketing (Branding); and other Leadership and Mentorship sessions.
Activities of the Day 1 will include an opening ceremony and a general overview of the sessions that will take place, such as Accessing funds, operating a livestock business, highlights on existing standards, compliance and certification programs, and sales, marketing and improving visibility, among other related mentorship sessions. On Day 2 participants will go through a comprehensive competence-based and practical training on Rabbit, Mushroom and Snail productions commenced; whilst on Day 3- the training continues, and includes Branding and Advertising, Marketing and Sales, Accounts and Book-keeping, Communication Skills, Entrepreneurship; Processing and Packaging; and management of Cooperatives. At the end of the training, each participant shall be equipped with Starter packs, such as: 6-room cages, 2 female rabbits (does) and 1 male rabbit (duck); Training Manual, as well as certificates of participation.
Organizers and Sponsors Reiterate Commitment to the Project
In a recent joint press release, Hon. Dr. Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings, has noted that the initiative will help the hundreds of young Ghanaians acquire skills in rabbit, snail and mushroom farming, processing, as well as marketing. “This will help them make money to support themselves and their families. It will help reduce unemployment, empower women, and ultimately help reduce poverty in the society,” the release said. The statement further reads, “the whole idea is to have a the value chain circle in place that will create a market linkage system, and we are very happy that Parbs Meat is partnering us, with the intention of buying off the produce from the beneficiaries of this project.”
The Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, has also noted that Agrihouse Foundation considers the It is Possible Roadshow a scale-up of the Agricultural Students and Mentorship Bootcamp, which seeks to build more young agripreneurs in the country. She said, Dr. Agyeman Rawlings, like Agrihouse Foundation, is passionate about the youth and agriculture, and was therefore excited that such a noble initiative was finally becoming a reality. She used the opportunity to call for more corporate support, emphasizing the importance of such projects in these times, having the potential to break the cycle of poverty among the youth and within families.
Supporting institutions includes Jodi Constructions, Kofi Vinyo, AMG Fertilizers and Parbs Meat; who have all expressed their gratitude and commitment towards the initiative, which they believe is the way forward to curbing unemployment and empowering the youth to build their capacities and develop self-belief. They have all agreed to offtake the output of the trainees, which means ready market towards production.