Three Female Agribusiness Students and Aspiring Agripreneurs emerged as winners of cash prizes at the 6th Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue bootcamp (AG-STUD), held in Accra on Monday 27th march to Friday 31st march 2023.
Charlotte Yawa Sodzedo, 24, of Adidome Farm Institute, won the maiden Agromonti Ultimate Prize Pitch, while Grace Idani of Central University and Angela Afia Pokuaa of University of Cape-coast, both won the Nanam Ventures Ultimate Prize Pitch.
Nine (9) final year agribusiness students competed for the Ultimate Prize Pitch designed to allow the aspiring Agripreneurs demonstrate how they were each going to develop, grow and sustain their business ideas, within a period of two years.
After a tightly contested session, judges adjudged Charlotte Yawa Sodzedo, the overall winner of the Prize Pitch, declaring the ideas and initiatives she plans to put in place to grow and sustain her agribusiness, as most practical and smart.
In partnership with Agrihouse Foundation, Agromonti will set-up a state-of-the-art input dealer business, estimated at thirty-five thousand Ghana cedis (35,000 GHC) for Charlotte in her community of residence. Nanam Ventures awarded Grace and Angela two thousand Ghana cedis (2000 GHC) and a thousand Ghana cedis (1000 GHC), respectively, as seed capital to enable them to kick start their agribusiness projects.
Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa expressed her excited about the outcome of this year’s AG-STUD Bootcamp, and she was much impressed that three females won the challenge, adding that this showed that women were beginning to take charge in the agriculture sector.
She commended the three young women for winning the top prizes and encouraged them to focus on pursuing their dreams with the support they have received.
She also extended gratitude to Agromonti and Nanam Ventures for investing in the aspirations of the young Agripreneurs, she said, Agrihouse Foundation was also committed to empowering more young people to realize their agri-futures through the AG-STUD Bootcamp.
She noted that the partnership with Agromonti, to set-up an Input Dealer Business in any region for the ultimate winner of the Challenge, was a huge milestone and a significant boost in building strategic career paths for young agribusiness professionals, straight after school.
This milestone, she added, would also contribute strongly to the Government’s efforts over the years, in making quality input and resources more accessible, by ensuring that there is an Input Dealer establishment in every district.
Speaking after her win, an overjoyed and emotional Charlotte Yawa Sodzedo, thanked Agromonti and Agrihouse Foundation for the honour, while promising to manage and sustain the investment when it is finally set-up.
Grace Idani and Angela Afia Pokuaa, both thanked Nanam Ventures for providing them with seed capitals to start their agribusiness projects. They also promised to work hard and pay the support forward to other beneficiaries of the bootcamp, in some years to come.
Institutions that participated in this year’s AG-STUD bootcamp were, Adidome Agric College, Asuansi Farm Institute, Damango Agric College, Ejura Agricultural College, Kwadaso Agric College, Wenchi Farm Institute, Ohawu Agric College, and Fair River Agric Institute, Veterinary College, and Animal Health Production and college. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, Methodist University, University of Development Studies, All Nations University, Ghana Christian University College, and the University of Energy & Natural Resources, Central University.
The bootcamp also made room for daily non-campers; Agric students drawn from selected cycle institutions, including, Labone Senior High School, Accra Academy Senior High School, and O Reilly Senior High School. The rest are Ashaiman Senior High School, Ngleshi Amanfro Senior High School, and Chemu Senior High School.
Throughout the 5 days, participants were engaged in practical learning in diverse fields, led by mentors, trainers, and coaches, drawn from different industries, who groomed, mentored, and trained participants in hands-on Capacity-Building sessions, equipping them with knowledge and skills that would enable them to establish sustainable agri-businesses in their schools and within their communities.
They also participated in corporate field tours, aimed at familiarizing them with different kinds of agribusiness operations in the country where they received in-depth knowledge on Agribusiness in a number of intensive pitching and presentation sessions, drills, and other mind-engaging activities.
Past beneficiaries including Obed Asamoah, Solomon Benambemon, Mamaga Mary Hundo and Perfect M.A Nyikplorkpo, who were at the event shared their inspiring success stories with participants, to motivate them to make the most of the 5-day bootcamp experience.
The bootcamp was supported by Agronomoti Ghana Limited, Holland Akokor, Cocoa Processing Company, Nanaam Ventures, B-diet, Kofi Venyo Ventures, WAF Agro, FDA, Dizengoff Ghana Limited, Agric Development Bank (ADB). It was organized in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association (NFFAWAG).
In the past six (6) years, the annual Bootcamp has supported about 1,250 beneficiaries to develop their ideas into businesses, supported Agribusiness companies, to recruit smart and fresh graduates and contributed a drive and mindset development of young people, while exposing them to career paths and opportunities within the Agribusiness value chain.