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Enticing young people into agriculture: John A. Kufuor Foundation celebrates youth in agribusiness

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor — Founder of John A. Kufuor Foundation
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor — Founder of John A. Kufuor Foundation

Successive governments have taken initiatives over the years to entice the youth to venture into agribusiness.

Currently, the youth gradually are seeing agriculture and its value chain as business and no more the job for illiterates and old people.

Consequently, a number of institutions and individuals have initiated programmes and activities to complement the government’s initiative of attracting the young ones into agriculture.

Festival

As part of this, the John A. Kufuor Foundation, founded by former President John Agyekum Kufuor, has added to its tall list of youth intervention programmes, the Youth in Agribusiness Festival.

The maiden edition of the festival, which seeks to showcase the outstanding development of young people within the agribusiness sector in the country, takes off from Wednesday, July 27 to 29 at the Jubilee Park and Prempeh Assembly Hall, both in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

With a 13-member planning committee, the programme seeks to provide a platform for the entrepreneurs, especially agribusiness practitioners to exhibit their wares and services.

Participants

The three-day festival, with the theme: “Youth in Agribusiness in Ghana: the story so far and the way forward,” will feature young agribusiness entrepreneurs and will be a platform for young people in agribusiness to discuss their achievements and showcase their products and services to Ghanaians and the world.

It will engage young people aged between 18 and 35 years who are not only involved in farming but also in technology service provision, agri-input dealing, agri-advisory and financial service, processing/value addition, packaging, branding, digital/online marketing, distribution, agri-tourism, among others.

The festival seeks to motivate more youth to accept agriculture and its related activities as a commercial business venture and also create business linkage and networking space among youthful agribusiness entrepreneurs with big buyers, agribusiness industry leaders, investors, among others.

Briefing the Daily Graphic on the festival, the Convener of the Youth in Agribusiness Festival, Jeffrey Agyemang Duah, explained that the activity formed part of the objectives of the Kufuor Young Entrepreneurs Network (K-YEN) programme implemented by the foundation.

Expectations

He said the K-YEN programme was a three-year mentoring and entrepreneurial leadership support package that sought to build the capacity of young entrepreneurs and help them access credit and grants.

“It is envisaged that by bringing together major stakeholders and young agribusiness practitioners on one platform to share their experience, lessons learnt, network and forge strategic partnership along the agribusiness space,” Mr Duah explained.

He said it also sought to encourage the agribusiness companies, private investors and financial institutions to invest in the youth, “additionally it is expected to orient and shape the perception of agriculture as a promising sector for the youth.

Mr Duah explained that with the festival, young people would have peer role models and mentors to look up to in the agribusiness sector.

“It will be open to the general public, specifically young people, to access any information about agribusiness on pro bono basis. Again, the hub will have a toll free short code that will enable young people who are willing to venture into agribusiness to easily request for information and advice,” Mr Duah explained.

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