As part of strategies to hasten revival of the economy following negative impacts from the coronavirus pandemic, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has rolled out a programme that supports young entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector to tap into the international market.
The Youth in Export Programme, which is in collaboration with the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), seeks to provide mentorship to the twenty select trainees by tying them to experienced farmers who are already in the export business for six months, to assist them acquire the knowledge and skills for cultivation and export of agricultural produce as well as establish and manage their own businesses.
It will further provide the youth with great employment opportunities and sustainable livelihood while offering them a platform to contribute to the supply base of Ghana’s agricultural produce and increase export earnings, and ultimately enhance economic growth.
Speaking at the event held in Accra, CEO of GEPA, Dr. Afia Asabea Asare, said the programme contributes to government’s industrialisation agenda, adding that the move will further increase agriculture’s share in export earnings.
“The programme aims at encouraging youths to go into agricultural crop production and take up farming as a career. It also seeks to motivate youths into becoming entrepreneurs by having them understudy seasoned farmer-exporters, so they can build and manage businesses of their own. Above all, the programme is expected to help boost the export of agricultural crops, which is in line with the Authority’s mandate to develop, facilitate and promote non-traditional exports,” she said.
Also commenting at the event, Director of Research-YEA, Agya Yaw Nsiah, commended the youth for their choice of profession in the agriculture sector – urging them to never give up despite the challenges that come with it. He further encouraged them to take advantage of the programme which the two organisations have put up in order for its intended purpose to be realised.
Major aspects of the programme to be covered during the orientation include: opportunities for trainers and trainees; youth and agriculture; crop agronomy; and fruit and vegetable production. After the orientation sessions, participants will be posted to various farmer-exporters across the Eastern, Volta, Central and Greater Accra Regions.
Upon successful completion of the training programme, trainees will be supported by GEPA to acquire an acre of land each and be supplied with seeds and required inputs to cultivate under the supervision of their respective trainers, and start up their businesses.