The importance of agriculture cannot be underrated because agriculture employs as much as 60% of Africa’s labor force but the youth still see agriculture as a backbreaking occupation that rewards very little. The consensus among experts is that for agriculture to create high employment, young people must get involved so by this stalwart within the agri industry and other allied sectors who have the competence to equip the youth with contemporary skills needed to thrive as agri-professionals are giving their support to AG-STUD, to ensure that its third outing turns out more productive and hip enough to attract young farmers.
These industry players have been named the technical team by the organizers of the event and they are made up of Mr. Raymond Dentey, Head Coach, Mrs. Catherine Fabbi-Head Mentor, Mr. Kenneth Nii Addy-Head Trainer, Mr. Asiorme Bierkro – Communication Advisor.
Speaking to Mr. Raymond Dentey, the marketing and Communication Specialist at Ghana Poultry Project he said, “it is very important to court and nurture the interest of young people at the early stages of their lives. Indeed, this period of their lives represent the most important phase where we can infuse the love for agribusiness innovation into their minds. This way, we can effectively groom them to become job creators who will not come out of school to swell up the mammoth unemployed-graduate numbers that continues to give government sleepless nights.
Baring her thought on the potential impact of this event, Mrs. Catherine Fabbi who is the Business Development Manager for Interplast and also the Head Mentor for Agstud she said, “ there are massive potentials in agriculture but currently we are not where we are supposed to be so there is a lot to be done and I believe this event is a very good one which will help the youth to be empowered to grow their businesses. I was very excited when I was invited to mentor the students because I love to see people grow and I am here to offer directions to the students.
“I think Agstud is very important to the development of the country as a whole because as at now the youth seems to be shying away from agriculture and the best way to catch them is with some of these initiatives. I believe they should even be given consetions to incorporate them into their corporate social responsibilities along the line. Now a lot of graduates do not have the necessary skills to work but me being a head trainer we will try and close that gap and I know by the end of this bootcamp those who might have gone through my hands will be fit to get into the industry and might as well as establish their businesses,” said Mr. Kenneth Nii Addy, CEO of Kaddy Ventures.
Mr. Asiwome Biekoro – Communication Specialist, Ghana Poultry Project also said, “The youth is the future of Ghana and if Ghana should be able to feed its citizens we must focus on the youth. Now we have an aging population that are in agric colleges so we really need to encourage the youth to take up the trade and if that is not done then sustainability of our agric production in Ghana is at risk. The private sector is a very key facilitator in transforming agric ventures into agribusinesses and so I employ everybody in the private sector that has some form of support to look into the direction of agric and invest in the youth so we can sustain agric production. Within our country what we have here to develop our economy is agric because agric is huge so let’s look at the potentials and honest it through our energies. I am going to handle developing the marketing strategy for the participants making sure the goods they produce gets to the market and how they should present their produce to the market to make them more attractive so that they can make some sales, more income and sustain their business.”
Agstud Africa, an initiative of Agrihouse Foundation , was created three years ago to develop youth and students’ leadership’s knowledge of the corporate world of agribusiness, the value chain system, and farm management skills in beginner farmers and, generally lead them to start appreciating agriculture from a new perspective that speaks of a career fulfilling sector that offers a wide range of exciting and modern career opportunities.
The 2018-2019 edition of the event created jobs for countless students and youth. As a result of the previous editions of the programme, there are now over 6 successful businesses being run by students who participated in the AG-STUD programme; Mush Farms being one of them. Mush Farms is developed and owned by the winners of the 2019 edition of AG-STUD Business Pitch Challenge and they are students of the University of Ghana.
This year’s programme is going to take place on Tuesday, March 10th to Friday, March 13th, 2020 at the Coconut Groove Hotel, Sakumono, Accra under the theme: “Growing Futures: Establishing the Agric Youth”.
The 2020 AG-STUD bootcamp will camp forty (40) students, representing nine AG-STUD BUSINESS CLUBS from across the country. Aside the 40 campers, over 700 students will be attending and participating in the daily sessions.
Partners and Sponsors includes, the Serbian Embassy, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), OCP, Rockland Farms, Labianca, New Okaff, Addfra, Sonal global and Nanam Ventures.