In an effort to enhance entrepreneurship in the country, about 50 youth drawn from various districts in the Northern Region are to undergo skills training in pruning and spraying techniques within the mango value chain production line.
The beneficiaries were drawn from Mion and Kumbungu districts to go through the month-long training that will help them to enhance their agricultural knowledge in mango production in various farming communities as a means of encouraging more youth to venture into the sector and grow the economy.
The beneficiaries will after the programme receive certificates as Nursery Assistants, Farm Hands, Harvesters, Mango sprayers and Pruners.
The Initiative by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in collaboration with the Ghana Skills Development Initiative/Agriculture Technical Vocational Education Training (GSDI/ATVET) and the Tamale Technical University (TaTU) with support from the MoFA is also expected to provide a knowledge exchange platform for the beneficiaries, while enabling them to build networks for potential future collaborations in the sector.
Under the ATVET project, the Tamale Technical University (TaTU) is expected to deliver COTVET-accredited competency-based training in five selected occupations in the Mango value chain to three youth groups.
Pro-Vice Chancellor of TaTU, Professor Bashiru Imoro Ibn Saeed – who is also the Project lead person, said there is high demand throughout the West African sub-region for plants that have higher productivity rates and are climate-smart. “The current demand for the mango products in Ghana and other sub-Saharan African countries have enabled the country to position itself to help bridge the production gap and meet demands of the populace,” he said.
He said the project will also ensure that curricular are developed using a competency-based formula whereby the regulators partner to deliver competent manpower to industries. He advised he beneficiaries to take the training seriously to enable them acquire technical skills that will enable them to also train new learners on best agronomic practices to meet the industry’s standards.
The Project Coordinator at TasTU, Alhaji Mustapha Mas-ud, said the university is responsible for training the youth to meet demand of the market. “So far, we have done three occupations: these are nursery assistants, farm hands, and harvesters. One in December, two occupations in January which ended in early February, and this training expected to end in March is the last group.”
He advised beneficiaries to make good use of the skills provided to create job opportunities for themselves and the communities they hail from.
According to him, despite challenges confronting the technical university, management has been making frantic efforts to use the few resources available in ensuring that students acquire the requisite knowledge before leaving campus.
The GSDI Team Leader, Leonard Dogbey, said agriculture has long been the backbone of the country’s economy. “The mango value chain has so many occupations along its various segments which can create unique job opportunities for the unemployed youth,” he said.
He said the aim of the project is to help increase the number of skilled employees within the mango industry. “It is also to ensure that the right knowledge is passed on to potential trainees that are enrolling in the institutions,” he said.
Upon completion of the programme, he said, the beneficiaries will be recognised as technical persons with adequate knowledge on mango value chain to deliver training in the various communities.