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90,000 graduate youth to train in agriculture

Ninety Thousand graduate youth are expected to be trained in agriculture by the National Service Scheme (NSS) through an$ 11.8 million partnership project with Agri-Impact Group.

The four-year strategic partner­ship project, funded by the Master Card Foundation aims to harness agricultural productivity and pros­perity for the youth, aligning with the national vision of empowering the younger generation and foster­ing entrepreneurship.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Agri-Impact Group, Daniel Fahene Aquaye, who made the revelation at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institu­tions on Wednesday in Accra add­ed that the project was“ambitious and transformative.”

He said the 90,000 graduates who would go through the train­ing programme under the project, would as well train others under their umbrella.

“The project intends to create jobs for 316, 000 youths in Ghana in four agricultural value chains namelyrice, soya, tomato and poultry,” the CEO explained.

“The project has been designed to be implemented by eight part­ners of which the NSS is a minor partner in all the areas we will be implementing this project,” he added.

This substantial undertaking, he said was poised not just to create employment but to also signifi­cantly boost agricultural produc­tion, reduce imports, and stimulate job creation among the youths across the country.

“We have a target of increas­ing food production by 189,000 tonnes of the value chain and 12,000 tonnes of poultry, and we anticipate to generate over $200,000 dollars per annum in the form of imports substitution,” Mr Aquaye added.

This project being the biggest among the Master Card Founda­tion projects, is also the first time a local institution is being used for the implementation of such initiative.

He said the partnership was not confined to urban centres, but wouldextend to rural areas, aiming to bring shared prosperity to the youth throughout the nation, “so that the rural youths will also get the opportunity to contribute to the agricultural production in the country and benefit from the job opportunities.”

The Executive Director of NSS, Osei Assibey Antwi, on his part explained that the project focused on youth development, productiv­ity, technological innovation, and the establishment of a value chain which aligns with the President’s vision of reducing food imports, equipping the youth with essential skills, and preparing them for the job market.

He said the NSS this year, de­ployed personnel to the agricultur­al sector, signalling a shift in focus and a desire to make a substantial impact.

The agriculture project, Mr Antwi indicated, added to the list of various initiatives to assist graduates to develop their skills and become self-employed.

He said the scheme through the government had secured about 20,000 acres of farmland to drive interest in agriculture among the youths with the right state-of-the-art technology to enable mech­anised farming.

The partners expressed com­mitment to green practices, urging the continuous implementation of greenhouses as they embark on this transformative journey towards sustainable and techno­logically advanced agricultural development.

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