27, 500 beneficiaries of agric project to be financially independent

About 27, 500 youth, vulnerable women and persons with disabilities (PWDs) are expected to be made financially independent through the national agricultural capacity building and business set-up roadshow.

The project, spanning 36 months, to be carried out across the 16 regions would see beneficiaries trained in rabbit and mushroom production and provided with starter packs at no cost.

Aside from the training, they would be grouped into business networks (agric cooperative societies), with supervision by the implementers, to ensure the success and sustainability of their businesses.

The pilot project of the programme is to commence in August 2021 with 200 beneficiaries from the Klottey Korle Constituency.

Thereafter, the nationwide exercise would be carried out.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Klottey Korle, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, is the lead implementer of the project being executed together with the Agrihouse Foundation.

Parbs Meat, a processing and marketer of rabbit meat and Jodi Construction are supporting the project.

Already, Parbs Meat has donated an initial GH¢100,000 cash amount to the project, while Jodi Construction has also committed GH¢62,100 to the initiative.

The lead implementer of the project, Dr Agyeman-Rawlings, has been speaking about the project in a short video made available to The Ghana Report.

According to her, the idea is to empower the beneficiaries to source sustainable funding for their operations, reduce the high level of unemployment in the country, and ultimately make them financially independent.

“This is to give the youth something that will keep them busy and ensure they get their own source of money, in order to prevent the situation where they are being deployed by politicians and influential people for violence during election periods,” she emphasised.

She further stated that “we are going to ensure that the loopholes are closed, which means that there will be off-takers for whatever that they produce to ensure that there is a cycle, and nothing goes to waste.”

The lead implementer of the project noted that the choice of rabbit and mushroom was because, “apart from the health benefits, they do not require any extreme technical expertise, a huge deal of training or extended area of land.”

The Executive Director for Agrihouse Foundation, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, said they recognise the challenges faced by these vulnerable women and persons with disabilities, especially being disadvantaged regarding employment.

“We appreciate the challenges, but we also believe it is possible for us to train and support the setup of rabbit and mushroom businesses for 200 individuals in each region, over a 36months period,” she said.

“At Agrihouse Foundation, we consider this project a scale-up of our annual Agricultural Students Mentorship Programme, which seeks to build entrepreneurs in Agriculture,” she said.

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