Oheneba Yaw Sarpong Siriboe I (right), 2022 National Best Farmer, addressing students of the Koforidua Technical University
Oheneba Yaw Sarpong Siriboe I (right), 2022 National Best Farmer, addressing students of the Koforidua Technical University

Best Farmer advises youth to embrace agribusiness

The youth have been advised to go into agribusiness since it was not only an avenue for ensuring food security, but also for generating income.  
The 2022 National Best Farmer, Oheneba Yaw Sarpong Siriboe I, who gave the advice, therefore, said school leavers who could not secure jobs could venture into agribusiness to better their lot.
He was addressing students of the Koforidua Technical University (KTU) in Koforidua, the Eastern regional capital, last Friday.

Rethink initiative

As part of efforts to encourage the youth to embrace agriculture, Oheneba Siriboe, who is also the Akyempemhene of Juaben, has come out with an initiative dubbed "Rethink". 
The best farmer would, therefore, interact with senior high school (SHS) students in the country to sell the idea to them. 
The project is in partnership with Kosmos Innovation Centre, an organisation which assists the youth to create opportunities for themselves in farming and other business ventures to enable them to generate income.
Oheneba Siriboe said that the initiative would also build the capacity of the youth who were already into agriculture to increase yield and reduce post-harvest losses while encouraging those who were in other professions to also go into farming.
Students of the Koforidua Technical University
Students of the Koforidua Technical University
He said agriculture was not meant for only students with a background in the subject, but for all citizens who could benefit from the value chain in the sector.
For instance, the best farmer mentioned seed production as an area they could take advantage of to generate and sell seeds to farmers.
Oheneba Siriboe also announced that he would set up a school to serve as a demonstration farm to train the youth in agricultural practices.
He gave an assurance that the Rethink initiative would not be abandoned after his tenure as the National Best Farmer. 
The Executive Director of Kosmos Innovation Centre, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, who spoke on the topic "Champion of change", also said that the future of the country depended largely on the youth whom he urged to go into agriculture because it was the main driver of the economy.
"We want to change the mindset of students to embrace agriculture as a business to erode the perception that the sector was only meant for the aged," he said.

Focus 

The Director of Business Support of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), Franklin Owusu-Karikari, said the focus of the programme was to draw the attention of young people to the opportunities that existed in agriculture.
He mentioned marketing and branding as some of the areas they could specialise in.
Mr Owusu-Karikari further said that the objective of the programme was to open up opportunities for young people to enable them to decide on which key sector in the value chain to invest in.
Writer's email: [email protected] 

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