Ghana: Ministry of Food and Agriculture reviews Extension Service curriculum to promote agribusiness

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) has reviewed the curriculum of courses run by Colleges of Agriculture as part of a comprehensive strategy to promote agribusiness and marketing of farm produce.

The move was to equip Agricultural Extension Agents (AEA) with the requisite skills to train farmers as agribusiness entrepreneurs by teaching them basic record-keeping and marketing of their produce.

Mr Lawoetey Tettey, the Human Resource Director of MoFA announced this at a three-day capacity building workshop for 2019 National Farmers Day Award Winners in Kumasi.

The workshop, which sought to mentor participants on financial management, business plans and commercial negotiations was attended by 135 participants from all the 16 regions.

It was organised by the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat in partnership with MoFA on the theme, “Transforming Agriculture into a Sustainable Business: Practical Driven Solutions for Effective Planning”.

Mr Tettey said the Ministry was focusing on ensuring that the AEAs understood the business of agriculture to be able to teach farmers to treat their farms as a business.

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“We have realised that we are doing so much when it comes to production of agriculture produce, but the rate of post- harvest loss is so high and it has become important for us to emphasise more on processing and marketing’.

He said most farm produce were left to rot because the farmers lacked the expertise to market them after harvest hence the initiative to incorporate the business aspect of agriculture in the training of AEAs to address the problem.

He indicated that agriculture transformation remained the underpinning factor to Ghana’s economic development and must be given the needed attention to build a solid economy.

“Transforming agriculture into business means creation of jobs, raising incomes, reducing malnutrition and a catalyst to accelerated economic growth”, he emphasized.

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He said the Ministry was facilitating the importation of assorted processing machinery for rice, maize, soya and other crops to support entrepreneurs who were into processing or wished to establish processing factories.

Mr Kinsley Agyemang, Registrar of the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat, said the workshop formed part of activities to extend scholarship to awardees of the 2019 best farmers at the national and regional levels as directed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

He said all the awardees were entitled to two scholarship slots for their dependents of choice pursuing higher education at tertiary levels.

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