About 27,500 youth, vulnerable women and disabled stand to benefit from a National Agriculture Capacity Building and Business Setup Roadshow (NACB) programme by Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle Constituency, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings.
The project, which is schedule to span 36 months across the 16 regions, is aimed at training the youth, women and the disabled in rabbit and mushroom production over a short period of time to master the process of rearing and handling of same after which starter packs would be provided to them at absolutely no cost.
According to Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, the COVID-19 pandemic has further heightened the economic predicament of the youth and vulnerable people, therefore if there is anytime appropriate for supporting the youth or empowerment, this should be it, a reason behind her commitment to implement such a project.
“We would be zoning the regions in order to make the training easier and the main components are mushroom and rabbit, and the reasons for choosing these two are because of the health benefits and the fact that one does not need huge land area or top-level expertise to engage in any of these two,” she said
She also emphasized that the idea is to minimize the level of unemployment in Ghana and 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 period.
“We wanted something that can close the cycle in terms of value addition, value chain, and the other aspects like the financial bit, ICT to develop apps, farm monitoring and network, to offer ready market and make available off-takers. So, this becomes a corporative society where everyone gets connected and gets whatever they need from within the network,” she added.
The implementing partner on the project is Agrihouse Foundation and is being supported by Jodi Construction and Parbs Meat, a leading processing and marketer of rabbit meat and product both in the country and abroad.
The pilot project of the programme is to kick start with 200 youth and women within the Klottey Korle Constituency, after which it will be extended nationwide.
Chief Administrator of Jodi Construction, Isaac Kojo Nti, has indicated that his company is committed to youth economic empowerment and is happy to be part of this project right from inception.
Parbs Meat donated an initial GH¢100,000 cash amount to the project whilst Jodi Construction also committed GH¢62,100 to the initiative.