The University of Technology, Netherlands (TUDelft) and the Kwadaso Agriculture College (KAC), in partnership with the Kumasi Business Incubator (KBI) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), have launched an agriculture project to support youth development and vulnerable group employability.
The Archipelago project dubbed: “Entrepreneurship in Horticulture; Farming as a Business,” is an inclusive economic development programme which will help train students and equip them with the requisite skills as well as enhance employment opportunities.
It also seeks, among other things, to improve local employment opportunities based on skills gap analysis, which will need assessment of local private sector.
"The programme will improve local employment opportunities through increasing professional skills of students and will focus on farming as a business," the Manager of KBI, KNUST, Mr Samuel Yaw Akomea, said.
He said the programme was an African-European partnership for vocational training financed by the European Union and gave an assurance that KBI would do all it could to ensure that the programme became a success.
The Coordinator of TUDelft, Mrs Marjan Kreijns, said since education was a vital asset and key in agriculture, it was important that everyone participated in the programme to make it successful.
She expressed the hope that the programme would boost the agriculture sector in Ghana in terms of productivity and enrich the students, especially the young ones with the needed knowledge.
Mrs Kreijns said when taken seriously, it would aid the agriculture sector with overall works.
The National Director of Agriculture Colleges at Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Mr Lawoetey Tettey, said since the programme was a good initiative, MOFA would fully support it.
"This initiative will make the youth more useful than before and will increase their commitment level in agriculture,” he added.
The director advised participants not to just participate but rather move a step beyond and also concentrate on other aspects of agriculture value chain.
The Principal of Kwadaso Agriculture College (KAC), Rev. B. A. Mensah, said the programme was an important one since horticulture was a great aspect of agriculture which would help brighten the future of the country.
He said the college would review current curriculum and support participants to roll out successful projects.
Mr Mensah applauded stakeholders for the wonderful initiative and encouraged all to take advantage of the programme.
He expressed the hope that in spite of the possible challenges, "the programme shall go well."