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Agriculture colleges valuable tool for human resource development

BY: Bagbara Tanko
Picture credit: thefarmdreams.com
Picture credit: thefarmdreams.com

The implementation of new educational reforms in 2012 in Ghana led to the abolition of agriculture science as a single subject in basic schools and agriculture science course was subsumed into Integrated Science.

Concerns have been raised by stakeholders as to whether the reforms give room for adequate covering of agriculture needed in basic schools.

Agricultural education at the basic school level has been identified as vital for training young ones in the basic principles of agriculture, changing their attitudes towards agriculture and providing avenues for the development of their skills for sustainable agricultural development.

Agriculture Training Colleges

Since independence, successive governments made efforts to transform the nation into a modern and productive player in the global economy through agriculture; hence, the establishment of agricultural training colleges to train the frontline staff to disseminate information on modern agricultural technologies to the farmers to boost production in the country.

Agricultural colleges are training institutions in which students obtain the requisite theoretical and practical knowledge and skills needed to go into farming and for that matter, we cannot do without them as a country.

In 2019, the curriculum for agriculture colleges was reviewed with the help of the NICHE project to train Agri–preneurs. This new curriculum has paved the way for the students to focus on business venture ideas.

Currently, the Technical Education Development for Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (TEDMAG) project is assisting the colleges to deliver on their mandate.

Ghana has about six agriculture colleges: Kwadaso Agriculture College, Ejura Agriculture College, Ohawu Agriculture College, Damongo Agriculture College, Animal Health and Production College at Pong Tamale and the Ghana Veterinary College in Tamale.

These were established to train the manpower needs of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The vision of these colleges is to develop a centre of excellence with dynamic, flexible and demand-driven training programmes, where staff and the youth build careers that make them transformational leaders in agriculture and agribusiness in Ghana, Africa and beyond.

Kwadaso Agriculture College

To the glory of God, the Kwadaso Agriculture College is 100 years old. The college reached its centenary milestone precisely on February 25, 2022. It was established in 1922 by the Cadbury and Fry Company, a British commercial entity, trading in the purchase and sale of cocoa in the then Gold Coast.

The college, established as a strategic training institution for the youth in the field of agriculture, can boast of churning out over 75,000 graduates in the period of its existence.

In diverse ways, graduates of the college have contributed to national development by rendering professional services in the fields of agriculture, industry, academia and research, among others.

The existence of the college after 100 years is a testament to its special relevance to the manpower needs of this country.

The widely acclaimed success story of Ghana’s cocoa industry cannot be told without acknowledging the contribution of the Kwadaso Agriculture College.

Ghana’s first consistent global leadership in the cocoa sector further reinforces the status of the Kwadaso Agriculture College as one of the most important national assets.

At 100 years, the Kwadaso Agriculture College holds a greater potential to contribute even more to the unfolding process of transforming Ghana’s agriculture sector, especially in the tree crops sector.

The writer is the Head of Public Relations, Ministry of Food and Agriculture.