Rethink Agriculture: 2022 National Best Farmer holds Young Agripreneurs forum for Koforidua Technical University Students

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Koforidua Technical University hosts a mentoring forum to entice young people to choose agriculture as a career.

The 2022 National Best Farmer, Nana Yaw Sarpong Siriboe I, the Akyimpenhene of Asante Juaben Traditional Council, along with its partners from KOSMOS Innovation Center and Ghana Exim Bank, convened the discussion on Friday, August 25.

The “Rethink Programme” is a new initiative from the office of the National Best Farmer for 2022, which encourages young people to view agriculture and the chances along its value chain as more than just a traditional profession but as a pathway to other opportunities.

The forum themed “Opportunities along the Agricultural Value Change” engaged policymakers and stakeholders to come out with policies to empower the youth and also facilitate their access to finance.

The 2022 national best farmer explained to journalist Kaakyire Kwasi Afari of Afeema FM that the Young Agripreneurs Forum was a “gathering of great minds” as the panelists shared their experiences. The Rethink programme was created to bring together young intellectual minds to solve the big questions in agriculture and its value chain.

The seminar addressed a number of issues that young people face in the industry, according to Nana Yaw Sarpong Siribour, chief executive officer of Siribour Farms, and it also highlighted the many opportunities present in the agricultural value chain.

He said the “Rethink Agriculture” programme is expected to equip the youth with the tools, knowledge, information, education and skills that will not only help sustain agricultural legacy but transform it into a force that drives innovation and economic growth.

Even though he was a trained engineer by trade, he continued, it was crucial for him to inspire young people to spearhead the agricultural sector’s transformation because it not only enhances people’s well-being but also significantly contributes to the nation’s socioeconomic development.

The initiative’s guest of honor, Mr. Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, the executive director of the Kosmos Innovation Center, commented on it by saying that agriculture provided easy employment and that the program was in line with the center’s increased focus on developing innovative agricultural methods.

Mr. Benjamin Gyan-Kesse pleaded with the recipients to take the training seriously in order to advance their knowledge of crop planting, animal care, and other agricultural opportunities.

He urged the beneficiaries and youth in tertiary schools not to see agriculture as a venture for the academically poor.

According to him agriculture and agri-business could be a tool to create jobs for the youth and address unemployment challenge facing the country.

He called on the tertiary students in the Eastern region to leverage on all the opportunities KOSMOS present to them by engaging in event such as the Young Agripreneurs Forum because his office is ready to assist them to bring what they have studied into a meaningful space.

Mr. Franklin Owusu-Kariari, Director of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (NIEP), said that his office has trained more than 25,000 applicants for the Youth in Innovative Agriculture Program under the Ghana Cares Obaatanpa Program.

He claimed that after going through training and coaching, the shortlisted applicants received financial and technical help.

Mr. Franklin Owusu-Karikari claims that the program is a component of the government’s initiatives to promote educated youth into agriculture and assist commercial farming in order to promote food security and plug the gap created by our food import substitution.

He urged everyone to try their hand at farming because it is a lucrative industry.

Source: Kwasi Afari

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