Unemployed graduates and other youth who are interested in agriculture have the opportunity for entrepreneurial training in the field.
The Crops Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is spearheading the initiative.
It is dubbed Innovative Agribusiness Incubation Programme, meant to equip participants with skills for modern commercial farming.
“This is the first of a kind in the country and we hope to reduce unemployment by enhancing their entrepreneurial skills so they’ll be able to own their businesses, ” said Programme Coordinator, Dr. Bright Asante.
Dr. Bright Asante
Course components of the programme include Root and Tuber production, Processing and Innovative Aquaponics–based food systems.
Others are Innovative Vegetable Agribusiness, Sustainable Banana and Plantain Production As well as Sustained Soybean Production.
Farmers will receive training in sustainable waste management as well as disease management and harvesting.
Agriculture, in Ghana, is predominantly smallholder and family operated.
Farmers use rudimentary technology to produce about 80 per cent of the country’s total agricultural output. Research shows about 2.7 million households keep livestock.
Ghana produces 64 per cent of its cereal needs, 68 per cent of fish requirement and 30 per cent of raw materials for agro-based industries.
According to the Agric Ministry, the sector continues to contribute the largest share of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
This is in spite of a decline sector’s national output from 44 per cent in the 1990s to 35 per cent presently.
Improvement in living standards, as well as domestic and personal needs, have therefore become very crucial.
Director of Crops Research Institute, Dr Stella Ennin believes participants will benefit from the numerous technologies developed by the institute.
The Skills Development Fund (SDF) and Agricultural Productivity Technology Centre are supporting the programme.
Participants will be given certificates at the end of the programme.
The scientists will intermittently monitor progress and offer needed assistance.