Approximately Three Hundred and Sixty-Seven (367) Agricultural Students and Beginner Agribusinesses from various Agricultural Colleges, Farm Institutes and Universities across the country, have been selected to participate in the 7th edition of the annual Agricultural student’s career guidance and mentorship dialogue bootcamp, which will run for six (6) days from Sunday May 19 – Friday May 24, 2024.

The participating Agricultural Students and Beginner Agribusinesses include students from, Adidome Agric College, Asuansi Farm Institute, Damango Agric College, Ejura Agricultural College, Kwadaso Agric College, Wenchi Agricultural college, Ohawu Agric College, and Fair River Agric Institute, Veterinary College, and Animal Health Production.

Others include 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, University of Energy & Natural Resources, Central University, University of Agricultural and Environmental Studies

In a statement, issued by Agrihouse Foundation, the organizers of the annual event, the Executive Director, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, expressed her excitement for the increase in participating schools and beginner agribusinesses in the upcoming 7th edition of the Agricultural Student Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue bootcamp.  

Last year, we had seventeen schools participating. The increase in schools and numbers is an indication of interest, growth and most importantly, a testament of the impact, the bootcamp, has continuously had on beneficiaries over the years.

‘’The bootcamp has over the past six (6) years benefitted over 6000 participants, some of which have started their own agribusinesses and farm enterprises, whiles others have gained meaningful employments opportunity.

The focus of the bootcamp this year, is to excessively focus at how best we can accelerate our collective efforts, to further enable, establish, shape mindsets and open-up more career opportunities for the growing numbers of Agri-youth’’. She added.

For the six (6) days running, campers will be involved in innovative activities and practices, with a sole agenda, of ensuring that, they get to appreciate, embrace and understand the full cycle of the agribusiness value chain and the diverse opportunities it presents.  

To this end, a detailed and integrated curriculum has been designed, to engage the minds, creativity, innovative thinking, passion and abilities of campers. We expect an outcome, where campers at the end of the camping period, will be able to identify their drive and path within the agribusiness sector, build agri-leadership skills, explore hidden talents, acquire and develop knowledge in planning, implementation and management and be equid with a better understanding of tools, programs, that are available to help them succeed as farmers, agribusiness leaders or employees of Agric related enterprises.

Just as it happens almost every year, after the Bootcamp, we anticipate companies who are looking to recruit, to equally identify great skills and talents among the campers, for employment or internship opportunities. For participating beginner agribusinesses, we anticipate them to leverage on the intensive sessions, to enhance food security, promote sustainable practices, and contribute shaping and transforming Ghana’s agrifood systems.

Some of the activities designed to achieve this goal during the six-days bootcamp include, the Agri-Ted Talk session, where we have practicing and experienced individuals and agribusinesses, sharing their career path with the campers.

We will also have the Ag-vogage, where campers embark on an experiential farm, agribusiness and corporate field tour, providing them with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with various agribusiness operations in the country, ask questions, and explore potential business opportunities.

The students and beginner agribusinesses will also have the opportunity to meet and present their ideas to with the various mentors and coaches assign to them, to brainstorm and put forward their agribusiness ideas, to be modelled into businesses.

Three key highlights of the 7th agricultural student career mentorship and dialogue bootcamp are the YES – WE CAN AGRI-INSPIRE session, which will witness women farmers, rural producers, processors and farmers with disabilities, selected across the country, to inspire by sharing their resilience stories and business journey with the campers.

There will also be the Group Students Business Presentation, where campers, who have been grouped into businesses, get to present their business ideas  to the team of judges .

Over the past six (6) years, the Group Students Business Presentation, have enabled most of the campers to kick start their businesses, right after the bootcamp. This is a realization and fulfilment of our efforts, to enable and establish the agri-youth.

Another key highlight is the Students Input Dealer Business Pitch, where individual students will have the opportunity to pitch their business development approach, on how they will manage an Input Dealer Shop in the community.

Though Input Dealer Pitch component, forms part of Agrihouse Foundation’s agenda, to ensure inputs are accessible to farmers at every location; village, community or at the district or regional level.

Last year, then 22-year-old Charlotte Yawa Sodzedo, of the Adidome Farm Institute won the Pitch. Agrihouse Foundation, together with Agromonti, fully funded, by renting a store for 2 years in her name, fully filled the store with various inputs worth 35,000ghc for her as the price package.

Charllotte’s career path has fully kicked off, with her full ownership of the input shop in Adidome.

The winner of the Input Dealer Pitch for this year’s edition is likely to receive a double of what Charlotte received.

The key thing for us, is the fact, that all the participating students are from different schools, scattered across the 16 regions of Ghana. Thus, it is our hope to be able to get winners from different schools each year, to strengthen our efforts of empowering them and further supporting farmers to have easy access to input in both the short to long term.

This year’s bootcamp is being supported by ADB, Jobberman, Kofi Vinyo, Kofi Ansah (Ahodwo Farms) Lexvee Agro-processing and some of Agrihouse Foundation’s women in agribusiness beneficiaries including Mama Abigial Gyama, Janet Adade, Queen Gafaratu Enterprise, Ayden Ventures, Nanvee Natural Foods, Vinolia Wealth Foods, ZLB Enterprise, Bebefu ventures ,WEID ventures,