AGRIHOUSE FOUNDATION LANUCHES AGSTUD 2018
The prioritization of agriculture by the current administration of His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, means the sector has begun receiving considerable attention. This is exciting as the country’s agriculture sector had endured underwhelming support in years past.
Today, agriculture appears on the front foot once more and it’s refreshing that the youth are being targeted as the main drivers of a sector with such vast potential. The deliberate attempt to target the youth is a worthy strategy that is long overdue-and AGSTUD 2018 represents the best example yet of how to take the core message of agriculture to the people who are best positioned to lead the much anticipated national renaissance that is set to greet the sector.
AGSTUD is a student capacity building boot-camp designed to specifically target students of agricultural science. The maiden edition of the programme slated for 20th-23rd February in Accra is expected to bring together Ghanaian and foreign students drawn from selected Senior High Schools and tertiary institutions from neighbouring Nigeria and Liberia. The foreign students will join their Ghanaian counterparts to savour the 3-day event which will be held at the Mplaza Hotel, Dzorwulu, Accra.
Agric institutions numbering 20 have all confirmed their student’s participation in the event. The participating schools are:
Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology (KNUST), University of Ghana, (Legon), Wenchi Senior High School,Auanesi Farm Institution,Kwadaso Agricultural College, Damango Agricultural College,Fairriver Barekese SHS,Amasaman SHS,Saint Thomas Aquainas ,Manhean SHS,Ngleshie Amanfro SHS, Central University ,Oreilly SHS, labone SHS,Ashaiman SHS and Ghanata SHS.
AGSTUD 2018 is timely, appropriate and must be encouraged to gain grounds and grow in leaps and bounds. Gathering students of agriculture to learn, interact and savor the mentorship of seasoned personalities, is a long overdue approach that will sure go some distance to not only embolden participants but will also give a shimmer of prestige to the discipline of agriculture ;as is the case with other fields like medicine, engineering ,law etc.
Foremost agro firm, Agrihouse Foundation is the brain behind AGSTUD 2018. As part of its efforts to galvanize the youth to take center-stage in the country’s budding agriculture sector, the pro-agriculture firm has identified and prioritized the need to have a win-them-young- approach to agriculture education in the country and indeed, the African continent.
Agrihouse Foundation is a non-governmental agricultural capacity building organization, with a special focus on the promotion of, and changing perception of agriculture through tactical programs and initiatives for students, women, farmers, farming associations, agribusinesses and the entire actors within the value chain.
The foundation’s initiatives focuses on empowerment, grooming, leadership, best practices, management training programs, etc. that leads to effecting positive change in the mind, field, economy and translate to the community.
According to the CEO of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, the event is the first of many that will draw participants annually with the view of preparing the youth to take full charge of the agricultural prospect of the African continent heading into the future.
“Africa is a continent with incredible agro potential. But if the sector will continue to rest on the aged shoulders of our parents and grandparents, then the future will be bleak for our continent. We believe that the African youth is capable of excellence, which is why we have decided to provide this avenue to prepare the next generation of agro professionals who will combine enthusiasm, diligence and skill to great effect; to ensure that Africa realises the huge potential in her agriculture sector.” she asserted.
As part of the event, participants are expected to be taken through a series of carefully designed programmes that will embolden their interest and love for the agricultural discipline.
The event is structured to unfold under the following key activities:
This will provide students the opportunity to interact with mentors who will share experiences garnered from years of being industry players .This will give students the opportunity to ask and receive illumination on niggling questions about the agriculture industry.
This activity will be headlined by technology firm, ISPACE and will test participant’s creativity by encouraging them to create simple technology that addresses simple agric challenges that beset farmers and other industry stakeholders.
The main idea will be to develop the capacity of participants to create impressive projects with the potential of serving the industry across the African continent in the foreseeable future.
Agri career conversation tour
This activity will see participant’s tour farms, and other facilities within the agriculture value chain to give them first hand feel of what goes on in these establishments. This will expose students to first-hand information on what it takes to work in such establishments and their role in the development of the industry.
Career opportunities and motivational speeches
To stir up the interest of the participants, the programme outline has a segment that will see industry stalwarts and other prominent personalities take turns to deliver speeches on how to identify and seize career opportunities in the agric sector.
Motivational stories detailing the rag-to- riches stories of successful agriprenuers will be highlighted to encourage and deepen the interest of the participants in agric.
Student mentor pairing
The organizers of the event, Agrihouse foundation has identified negative mental perception as the chief cause of youth apathy towards agric. To address this, the programme itinerary has been fitted with a section that will see participating students paired with seasoned agriculture industry personalities who would be tasked to mentor the students with the view of helping them make informed choices as they ebb towards a career in agriculture upon completion of school.
The mentorship pairing idea is hinged on a bigger plan being explored by the organisers to see more than 100 agribusiness spring up as a result of the mentor /student partnership which will provide an avenue for the student’s innovative ideas to come to light.
Also Agrihouse Foundation is confident that through the mentorship effort of the events resource persons, agro firms would have a pool of fine agric talents from which industry labour needs will be met.
An exhibition to showcase participant’s innovative ideas will be featured throughout the duration of the event to encourage students to display innovative ideas that hitherto will lie unexplored.
Two female students who excel during the agri-innovation exhibition will be rewarded by GIZ with a trip to attend the agric innovation conference in Dakar, Senegal.
As part of activities making up the event, participating students will be exposed to military drills to help instil discipline and promote team ethics.
Arrangements have been concluded to have participants enjoy the rare privilege of participating in military-styled exercises to achieve fitness and elicit memories that will endure a life time.
On the 3rd and final day of the event, H.E. Former president Jerry John Rawlins will host participants to a dinner at his residence where he will interact with the students and other industry players to rekindle the passion for agriculture. The former president is a known agric enthusiast and is relishing the chance to host the students.
AGSTUD Africa is here to turn the tide in favour of agriculture through a deliberate attempt to make the youth the primary force for propelling the industry. Through an all-inclusive youth agric participation, young agro professionals will be compelled to stay-on in agric enterprises instead of continuing the uninspiring trajectory where brilliant and promising agric students diverge into other areas of endeavour thought to be more prestigious than agric.
Additionally, the event will become a chief platform for preparing the next generation of agric industry professionals who will be grounded in the outmost believe that agriculture holds the key for the economic turnaround of the African continent.
AGSTUD Africa 2018 is collectively sponsored by, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association (NFFAWAG), ISPACE, Blue Skies, Dizengoff, John Deere and Yara Ghana.