SINCE its inception in 2018, the Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue (AG-STUD) has groomed and transformed over 600 students to see agribusiness as a lucrative career path.
The students, drawn from tertiary institutions across the country, are given entrepreneurial skills and exposed to the prospects inherent in setting up their own businesses in the agribusiness field.
AG-STUD, the brain-child of Agrihouse Foundation, is an agriculture booster and capacity-building bootcamp designed to empower the youth in Ghana to find their future in agribusiness and to ultimately feed into the country’s objective of achieving food security while providing sustainable employment.
Speaking at the launch of the third edition of the programme, which comes off between March 10 and 13, 2020, executive director of the foundation, Ms Alberta Akyaa Akosa disclosed that nine participating schools would have the opportunity to pitch their business plans at the bootcamp.
Topics for the business plan pitching sessions would be selected based on students’ agribusiness area of interest.
“Winners of the competition would be provided with agri-materials and funding to start their own businesses,” Ms Akosa disclosed.
The four-day programme, supported by the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and OCP Africa, is set to pool some 600 participants. It will involve field visits, mentorship, seminars, and pitching sessions, among others.
Country manager of OCP Africa in Ghana, Mr Samuel Oduro noted that his outfit had prioritised youth education, innovation and development in agriculture, “hence our partnership with Agrihouse to launch the second edition of the AG-STUD”.
Mr Oduro, who was highly impressed with the impact of the AG-STUD initiative, announced that three Ghanaian companies had been selected to be part of a training and mentorship programme in Casablanca, Morocco.
“The programme included intensive connections with ecosystem players in Morocco, Switzerland and USA, best in-class business curricula and value addition mentoring opportunities,” he disclosed.
Head of Agro-marketing, Sales and Services at ADB, Mr Nicholas Nikoi, urged the young aspiring agripreneurs to take their coaching sessions seriously, assuring them of the bank’s readiness to provide support for bankable projects.
“Agriculture, from the business perspective, doesn’t’t only provide food for the country, but also brings money into your pockets and provides jobs for many people.
“Agribusiness is the way to go, and we believe that you will take advantage of this opportunity and platform and make sure you come up with some good proposals.”
The initiative has, among others, inspired the successful establishment of thriving businesses, the most recent being the MushFarm Business, managed by six students pooled from the Kwadaso Agricultural College, the University of Ghana, Asuansi, Ohawu and Fair River Institutes by Agrihouse Foundation during the 2019 bootcamp.
Source: Isaac AIDOO, thefinderonline.com