The Patron of the annual Agricultural Students’ Career Guidance & Mentorship Dialogue-Bootcamp (AGSTUD Africa), Hon. Dr. Zanetor Agyeman- Rawlings, has reiterated the need for more policy directions that strategically feed into the committed efforts of young Ghanaians working hard to build careers within the country’s agricultural sector.
Hon. Zanetor Agyeman- Rawlings, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Klottey Korle Constituency, has noted that prioritizing support, and the empowerment of young people who have the passion and drive to contribute significantly to the country’s agricultural sector, is the way to go.
The Member of Parliament is expected to lead an Agri-Ted Mentorship Session, with over seventy (70) agricultural students and beginner agribusinesses, as part of the opening event activities, of the annual Agricultural Students’ Career Guidance & Mentorship Dialogue-Bootcamp (AGSTUD Africa).
Her mentorship session is expected to shape the mindset of the participants, on how best they can work together to establish the future and lay a strong foundation for a sustained Agriculture empire.
A release by Agrihouse Foundation, reveals the Agricultural students career guidance and mentorship dialogue, has for the past four(4) years, supported over 750 beneficiaries to appreciate the agric value chain opportunities, leading them to set-up beginner agribusinesses in both the crop and livestock value chain. Other beneficiaries have also ventured into processing of agric produce, including pepper, ginger, pineapple, watermelon, yoghurt and mushrooms, whiles the remaining are also serving as Agricultural Trainers and others, have also gained employment with reputable Agric institutions.
According to the Executive Director of the Agrihouse Foundation, this year’s Bootcamp, which opens on Monday, March 28 to Friday, April 1, 2022 has thirty schools participating, and this goes a long way to prove the significant impacts the Bootcamp is playing in shaping a career paths for the youth.
We started with only eight schools in 2018, and seeing the progress, the impact and the number of beneficiaries is exciting and fulfilling, she added.
Participating schools for this year’s Bootcamp includes, University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, All Nations University, Ghana Christian University College, Methodist University, University of Energy and Natural resources, University for Development Studies, GH Media School, and Landmark University- Nigeria.
Others include, Fair River Agric Institute, Labone Senior High School, O’Reilly Senior High School, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Accra Girls Senior High School, Accra Academy High School, Ashesi University, and Adidome Agric Institute.
The rest are Asuansi Farm Institute, Damango Agric College, Ejura Agric College, Kwadaso Agric College, Wenchi Farm Institute, Ohawu Agric College, Veterinary College, Northern Youth Hub, Ashaiman Senior High School, Ngleshi Amanfro Senior High School, and Animal Health Institute.
Touching on activities lined-up for the five (5) day Bootcamp, Ms. Akosa Sarpong said, the outlined daily activities, would see the campers, being mentored, coached and trained to shape their ideas into workable agribusiness plans. They would afterwards be supported with seed capitals and inputs, to enable them kick-start their businesses.
The Day one will commence at the Jubilee House, with H.E., the Vice President leading a mentorship session on the theme, “Digitalization-The Enabler, The Game Changer, and The future for the Agri-Youth.”
Other mentors, who will speak alongside His Excellency, include the Chairman of the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners’ Association of Ghana, (NFFAWAG), Mr. Nene Davies, Country Manager of OCP Africa, Mr. Samuel Oduro-Asare, Human Resource Director of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Lawoetey Tettey, and representatives from the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre, and Agricultural Development Bank (ADB).
Sponsors of this year’s event include ADB, OCP, Broad-spectrum, GIPC, Nanam Ventures, Mobraz, Demeter, Kofi Venyo and Bdiet
We are excited about the opportunities this year’s AG-STUD presents, the choices it will guide the campers to make and the path to take in realizing and growing a future in Agribusiness, with a focus on digitalization, Alberta noted.
His Excellency, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia will be hosting and leading an Agri-Ted mentorship session, with seventy (70) agricultural students and beginner agribusinesses, as part of the opening event activities, of the annual Agricultural Students’ Career Guidance & Mentorship Dialogue-Bootcamp (AGSTUD Africa).
The Vice President will be speaking and mentoring on the Theme; “Digitalization-The Enabler, The Game Changer, and The future for the Agri-Youth“, at the Jubilee House on March 28, 2022.
With increasing discussions on Ghana, becoming one of the most digitized economies in Africa, the Vice President’s mentorship session is expected to give in-depth understanding and appreciation of the digital trends, and how it can influence career paths of the mentees, in the field of Agribusiness, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong believes.
She noted that, the Vice President is widely recognized as a passionate promoter of digitalization and his presentation will further motivate and shape the mindsets of the mentees to develop an interest in carving an Agribusiness- digitalization future. It will also delve into investing in sustainable agriculture, government’s policies and programs in place for young Ghanaians who are into, or interested in the agric sector.
We are hopeful he will further inspire the young people with stories from his childhood, academic experiences and career choices that have guided his path. She added.
Started in 2018, the Agricultural Students Career Guidance and mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp (AG-STUD), has since inception, camped, trained, mentored, enabled and directly supported 750 beneficiaries to establish various Agribusinesses.
Indirectly, about twelve thousand (12000) non-campers have equally benefitted from the mentoring, coaching, Competence-Based Training and Corporate Field Tours the Bootcamp offers.
Presently, some alumni’s have established about seventy-three (73) thriving agribusinesses.
Young James Elikem Brown, a past student of English Amanfrom SHS who was part of the Bootcamp last year, is currently cultivating a successful pineapple farm. James went into value addition after the Bootcamp, and has now registered his fruit juice company with the Food and Drugs Authority. Together with some University Graduates, he is working on a project aimed at encouraging more young people to venture into the agricultural sector.
Obed Asamoah was part of the 2019 Cohorts. He was assisted with a seed capital of Gh500 to start his mushroom farm. Within two years Obed has scaled up his production and currently supplies to African Shops in the US and UK on order. He also trains an average of 40 students each semester in Mushroom production. He also serves as a trainer at the Livestock, Poultry, Fisheries Training and Tradeshow. Obed, a natural-born leader got his skills harnessed at the Bootcamp. Through dint of hard work, he has earned a scholarship to pursue graduate studies in Asia.
This year, the 70 students-campers will be from Ejura Agric College, Kwadaso, Damango, Ohaw, Wenchi, Fair River, Asuanzi, Animal Health, Adidome and College of Agric and Environmental Studies. Others include Central University, Methodist University, Ghana Christian College, University of Ghana, UCC, Catholic University, Northern Youth hub, University of Energy and Natural resources and Ashesi University.
Touching on the activities lined-up for the five(5) day Bootcamp, Ms. Akosa Sarpong said, the outlined daily agenda is aimed at getting the campers to work in, and as Teams, develop their art of public speaking, negotiating abilities and presentation skills.
The activities outlined will also get them to further explore their creative and wear their innovative hats, which is expected to assist them identify challenges and propose solutions, in line with the overall Theme AG-STUD.
For the 5-day period, a number of mentors, coaches, speakers and trainers from various organizations, including ADB, OCP, MOFA, GIPC, FDA, Nanam Ventures, Mobraz, HD+ , Sonal Global, Kofi Venyo, Bdiet and NPRA among others.
They will also equip, coach, train and guide the campers through the thematic focuses on Communication, E-Agric, Food Safety Management principles, attractive and limitless investment Agric opportunities , digital marketing, financial proposal development, Do’s and Dont’s in building an Agribusiness and saving the agri-future through talents and creativity and many more.
There will also be morning Disciplinary and Keep fit drills, in partnership with Blue Skies and other innovative fun-related activities within their 5-day period.
We are excited about the opportunities this year’s AG-STUD presents, the choices it will guide the campers to make and the path to take in realizing and growing a future in Agribusiness, with a focus on digitalization.
The youth of today has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that, we can drive an agenda, push a project, implement an idea, when given the needed motivation, mentorship, encouragement, the necessary tools, resources , we should be able to deliver, and that is exactly what we are delivering at this year’s AG-STUD AFRICA, Alberta concluded.
The Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp, have over the years been supported by ADB, OCP, Mybarnes, CDF Canada.
Agrihouse Foundation, in partnership with the Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat (GNECS), Women in Poultry Value Chain (WIPVaC), AWIA-African Women in Agribusiness and African Women in Animal Resources, and Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N), will commemorate International Women’s Day with the theme, ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.’
The celebration, expected to take place on Tuesday, March 8, in Accra, at the Korle- Klotey Municipal Assembly (Obra Spot) — Circle, would shine light on the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of Ghanaian women, with a call to action for accelerated women’s equality.
In a press statement, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa Sarpong said, it is always a good time to celebrate the achievements of women, especially, the growth, successes and sustainable efforts of women working within the country’s agricultural spaces.
She said Ghanaian women continue to prove to be the backbone of the country with their resilience and incredible contributions in the fields of agriculture, academia, business, politics, education, medicine, among others.
“Agrihouse prioritizes the cultural and socio-economic empowerment of our women in agriculture. Our interventional projects including the Agriwoman Marketplace, the Gathering of the Royals, WOFAGRIC and Gold in the Soil Awards; 1 Household, 1 Garden, are all geared towards providing marketing, exhibitions, networking, training and capacity building opportunities for women working in the agric space,” she noted.
As part of activities to mark the day, she said Agrihouse would be holding the 10th edition of ‘Agriwoman Marketplace’ at the Obra Spot, alongside the launch of the 3rd Anniversary of Women in Agriculture (AWIA), and launch of ‘Eggstra O Campaign,’ being implemented by Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat (GNECS), American Soybean Association (ASA) and World initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH).
The Director of the Department of Social Welfare will be Chairperson for the event, whereas Madam Louise Paris, Counsellor Development, Canadian High Commission, who would deliver the keynote address. Representatives of Ecobank, Ozeand the Food, drugs Authority and Peoples Persons Scheme would make short presentations. AWIA would be leading the group to visit selected maternity, antenatal and post-natal clinics to donate some hospital equipment and use the opportunity to educate the women on the importance of consuming eggs.
President of Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat (GNECS), Madam Comfort Kyerewaa Acheampong, said women are an integral part of national development and deserve to be acknowledged for their immense contributions. She said eggs are nutritious whole meals for all ages and encouraged parents to feed their children a lot of egg meals.
Women in Poultry Value Chain (WIPVaC), said the poultry sector is unfortunately beset with many challenges and thus, expressed the hope that this year’s International Women’s Day Celebrations would highlight these concerns, with concrete measures to support women poultry farmers in the country.
African Women in Agribusiness and African Women in Animal Resources (AWIA), called for more collaborative efforts and partnerships among Agriwomen in the country, as a sure way to ensure more growth and productivity among women within the agric value chain.
Agribusiness Network (AWARFA-N), said women in leadership positions, especially within the agricultural sector should be underestimated, and therefore expressed the hope that issues such as inequalities in the land tenure system, poor road networks to and from farmlands, lack of capital and high interest rates of banks, poor market and inadequate processing centres would be highlighted during the celebrations.
With regards to ‘Agriwoman Marketplace,’ whiles commemorating International Women’s Day, the event would also throw light on the ‘International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste,’ commemorated globally on September 29, to reiterate the need to reduce food losses and wastage. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), since 2014, the number of people affected by hunger has been rising steadily; emphasizing that, the issues of Post-harvest Loss is a major cause of hunger and starvation in around the globe.
“Agrihouse would therefore be leading the commemoration of the day in September, to call attention to the issue of post-harvest losses, which is a big challenge in the agricultural sector. As stakeholders in the agric sector, I hope we can all mark the date and use it as an opportunity to rally more support for our women in agriculture,” she said.
Since March last year, ‘Agriwoman Marketplace’ has fully supported and empowered over 200 women led agribusinesses with a vibrant platform that allows them to network, exhibit and sell their produces as a way of helping them to recover fully from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event has created networking opportunities for agri-women, which has led to increase in their sales, with a number of them securing major deals with local and international companies that purchase raw and semi-processed agricultural produce.
For the upcoming 10th edition, about a hundred and fifteen (115) women-led agribusinesses have already registered for the event. They include women into vegetable production, yam and tuber farming, grains and cereals. Others are also into processing groundnut paste, shea butter, Moringa, neem, coconut, castor oils, whiles the rest are into food, IT, finance, communications and marketing services.
“It promises to be a fun filled day event with activities like Musical Chairs, All Day Exhibitions and Food Bazaar. There would be Grills, Eggs, Chicken, Pork, Rabbit, and Fish sausages on sale, with music and lively interactions. I would encourage everyone to be there; come have fun and support our women in agriculture with your purchases,” Alberta said.