Following weeks of hard work and exuberance exhibited by 108 Junior and Senior High School students across the country in this year’s School Farm Competition, the programme came to an end with an award ceremony organised by Blue Skies with support from Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC) on November 24, 2022.
The School Farm Competition initiated by Blue Skies Foundation is an agricultural school challenge project that aims to increase young people’s desire through learning experiences, by providing the schools with inputs (seed and basic farm tools) to cultivate their crops on designated school farms. This will encourage them to consider agriculture an income-generating venture in their life journey while improving Ghana’s food security.
The programme aligns with KIC’s mission of driving innovation to create and apply commercial solutions to Ghana’s key development challenges, starting with agriculture. Through the support programmes organised by KIC, they are able to spot and invest in young Agripreneurs with remarkable innovations. KIC also provides support through tailored coaching, skills-building, expert mentorship, seed funding and facilitating connections within and across industries.
The Executive Director of KIC, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, said the School Farms Competition exposes young people to opportunities available within the agriculture value chain. “Young people are not very interested in agriculture despite its good opportunities. At KIC, we believe in drawing the interest of young people toward agriculture by using innovation. KIC Ghana, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, came on board to leverage and help scale-up this laudable initiative to reach more schools. The School Farm Competition provides the perfect ground for this,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Public Affairs Manager of Blue Skies Foundation, Alistair Djametey, said that Blue Skies Foundation is committed to a long-term strategic approach in building awareness on food security amid global trends like climate change and aging farming populations. “This is also a means of advocating for youth in agriculture as a sustainability approach to ensuring future generations are interested in agriculture, which is the critical backbone for national economic growth,” he added.
The winning schools for Best School Farm of the Year (JHS Category) are as follows: 2nd Runner-pp was Anyinam AME Zion JHS; Cape Coast School for the Deaf & Blind came in as the1st Runner-up; and the Winner for this category was Adoe Basic School.
The winning schools for the Best School Farm of the Year (SHS Category) include the following: The 2nd Runner-up was Akwamuman SHS. Atweaman SHS was the 1st Runner-up. The Winner for this category was Kwahu Tafo SHS.
Other categories include Most Entrepreneurial School 2022 – Anyinam D/A Girls Model JHS; Most Committed School 2022 – Cape Coast School for the Deaf/Blind; Most Innovative School 2022 – Ecole Ronsard; Discovery of the Year 2022 – Adoe Basic School; Most Sustainable School 2022 – Akwamuman SHS; Best Male Student (JHS category)- Matalaba Emmanuel of Suhum Mile 44 M/A Model JHS; Best Female Student (JHS Category) – Isabella Naa Amerley Amartey of Anyinam D/A Girls Model School; Best Male Student SHS Category – Stephen Tetteh of Bepong SHS School; Best Female Student (SHS Category – Priscilla Asare of Akwamuman SHS, Akosombo.
The rest are Lemuel Mantey Agric Leadership Award – Mr. Emmanuel Abiem of the Cape Coast School for the Deaf and Blind; Ruth Smith Adjei Special Recognition Award – Deborah Mawusi Amuzu of the Nsutam D/A JHS; The Best Teacher for JHS Category went to Evelyn Dononzoro Nawongyele of the Anhumtem Damang M/A JHS, Damang; Dr. Anthony Pile Special Award went to Mr. Joseph Kokoroko of Kwakyekrom M/A Basic School, Kwakyekrom; Best Teacher of the SHS Category went to Mr. Kwame Amoako of the Kwahu Tafo SHS.
Kosmos Innovation Centre continues to create impact by supporting the work and ideas of young people within the agriculture value chain; redefining perceptions on agriculture and encouraging innovation among young people.
Present at the event were representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ghana Education Service, relevant departments and agencies within the agricultural, educational and development sectors, as well as key opinion leaders such as Traditional Chiefs. Member of Parliament for Awutu-Senya, Hon. Gizella Tetteh-Agbotui, was also present at the event – as were representatives of the Mastercard Foundation and Cargill Ghana.