About 100 students pursuing various Agric-Related Sciences at the University of Ghana will between June and August this year have the opportunity to pursue a three-month intensive internship program with the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana, NFFAWAG with support from the Green Innovation Center, GIC.
This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU on Wednesday between the NFFAWAG, GIC and the International Association of students in Agriculture and related Sciences, IAAS, which is the umbrella body of the students.
A maiden internship programme was organized from June to August 2017 between the IAAS and GIC Corporation with NFFAWAG.
This year’s internship program will see the students receive hands-on practical training and skill based learning experiences, networking opportunities and give them additional opportunities of hosting farm enterprises to students from various schools across the country.
Under the agreement signed at the GIZ’s, Green Innovation Center in Accra, NFFAWAG will offer farmers (Mentors) who will enroll the students into their activities. The Green Innovation Center, GIC on other hand will provide working equipment (Protective clothing, tools, etc) whiles the IAAS will provide the work force.
Speaking at the event, Chairman for the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association of Ghana, Mr. Davies Narh Korboe thanked GIC for the initiative since agriculture remains the backbone of Ghana’s economy.
He said the program which initially started with about 12 students will this year provide the internship opportunity to about 100 students.
This he added was indicative of the successes recorded by the program so far.
“NFFAWAG offered this platform after realizing that the farmer population in the country is now aged and if nothing is done in the next five years, no one will produce to feed the country. Therefore the initiative came in to ensure that graduates from various schools enter into the country’s agric sector,” the award winners chairman said.
He stressed that, the association was committed to extending the program to other universities in the country once the needed funds are provided by the GIC particularly as the program will to a large extent reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
Ghana beyond Aid, Agric is the game changer, he said, adding that, the Ghanaian agric sector needs mechanized farming to aid farmers produce more
On his part, Mr. Walter Senberg- GIC Team Leader expressed optimism at the experience and innovation the program will impact in the students.
This he indicated borders on the key demands of experience and innovation required by the area of agribusiness which the program provides.
“Agribusiness needs experience and innovation and the initiative is therefore in the right direction to familiarize participants with opportunities in the value chain and clear the misconception that farming is just occupation’ but rather, a source of business to become real exhibitors in the economy and also create jobs,” Mr. Walter Senberg said.
President of the International Association of students in Agriculture and Related Sciences, Master Emmanuel Afavi who expressed delight at the initiative extolled the purpose of the program to equip them with practical ideas of the theories learnt in their books.
He described farming as a business for all and entreated graduates to stop seeking for white-collar jobs but rather embrace the agric sector.
Dignitaries present at the ceremony included; Chairman and Members of NFFAWAG, GIC Team Leader, MP of Kintampo North, IAAS Students, MD of Agrihouse Foundation, and other key players in the sector.
Beneficiaries and host farmers of the maiden programme, according to the GIC, commended the project for the open opportunities it provided, with some students gaining full employment after the programme.
Source: Joyce Bedeleyfirstname.lastname@example.org