RMG Ghana Limited, a leading agricultural Input dealership company gave Agric students in eleven tertiary institutions across the country practical orientation on their Livingfields Vegetable Farm at the just ended Agric Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue (Ag-Stud)
The program which was organised by Agrihouse Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture brought a number of stakeholders along the value chain of agribusiness to interact with students studying Agriculture in the various tertiary institutions across the country over at a three-day bootcamp.
The day one of the program saw students taken on a field trip to RMG Ghana’s Livingfields at Asutsuare in the Eastern Region of Ghana for practical orientation on how students can find a place in agribusiness after graduating.
At the field, participants were led by Farm Manager of Livingfields, Mr. Dennins Nkrumah
Introducing them to the RMG Livingfields Program, Mr. Nkrumah indicated that the project which covers a 100-acre plot of land seeks to engage and prepare graduate farmers who have the interest to go into agribusiness for the job market, either as quality employees of existing agric firms or successful entrepreneurs in the sector
“When they come, practically we have something on the ground and so we are going to harmonise theory with practice and also organise lecture series from specialized areas to ensure that, an individual after staying in livingfields gets the capability of replicating everything leant and go further top start business”
He also indicated that “the Livingfields also serves as research grounds for determining the validity and efficacy of products before the company makes them available to the market.”
Taking into consideration the kind of harsh condition in which farmers operate, he said, “the Livingfields has been built with those conditions factored in so that after inputs are passed from the field, they do not fall short when sold to the market”.
One of the student asked why the field was not blocked in typical research field fashion to ensure accuracy of data.
To this, Mr. Martin Nartey (Commercial manager) indicated that the research was not one meant to necessarily collate data for the public but to test the effectiveness of input to guide RMG Ghana in their sales and recommendations to customers and so did not necessarily require blocking.
After the Livingfields experience, Managing Director of RMG Ghana, Mr. Williams Kotey lectured participant on the theme: ‘What Agric Industry Players Expect from New Graduates’.
He began his presentation by outlining the various business opportunities in the agribusiness chain from production, processing, through to the final consumer. He also emphasized on the role of information technology (I.T) in the agribusiness processes in production, marketing etc.
“There are so many opportunities in agribusiness and so what matters is graduate farmers identifying their passion, understanding their competence and what gives them satisfaction because the value chain is long to meet such aspirations”
“There are opportunities in postharvest, warehousing, technology and even teaching and so it all depends on what the graduate farmer wants” he added.
With the goal of preparing the graduate for the job market, Mr. Kotey indicated that “employees are attracted to job seekers who have a clear idea of what they have to offer their organisation and therefore know their worth by way of remuneration”.
RMG not seeking to be employer but to develop talents worth employing.
He also indicated that without passion and zeal, it’d be difficult to excel in Agribusiness and so graduate must love Agric and go the extra mile to keep themselves informed on the nitigrities of the sector. He added that RMG Ghana aims to develop talents who will be worth employing or be innovative to start-up their own business.
Speaking after the exercise, Mr. Albert Appiah Amoako, Vice Principal of Kwadaso Agricultural College expressed his excitement at the opportunity afforded the student to acquire knowledge on the practical aspect of what they are taught.
According to him, the experience will not only develop the interest of students in agribusiness, but also make them attach importance to what they are taught in school and apply them.
“We are grateful to Agrihouse Foundation for the opportunity given our students to experience the practical aspect of what we teach them in the classroom”
“We will encourage them to put everything they leant into practice and replicate everything they have learnt on campus and continue to conduct tracer studies to find out how they are applying what” they have learnt even after completing the cause”
He called on Agrihouse to expand the program to give participation opportunities to more students because it will play a key role in drawing graduate into agribusiness.