The Kwadaso Agricultural College in Kumasi, in partnership with the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, has admitted the first batch of 30 students for a Horticulture and Vegetable Farming course, aimed at nurturing more entrepreneurs in the sector.
Dubbed the; “Entrepreneurship in Horticulture: Farming as a Business,” the four-month training is being run in collaboration with the Kumasi Business Incubator of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Holland Greentech Ghana, as an implementer.
The training is part of the project: “Horticulture in Ghana for a brighter future,” a joint initiative of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and Kwadaso Agricultural College, and financed by the European Union Archipelago – African-European partnership for vocational training programme.
Mr Frank Annor, a Postdoctoral Scientist at TU Delft, who joined the matriculation ceremony via Zoom, said the project’s objective was to match the demand for labour and growing opportunities in the horticultural sector of Ghana with a training that involved private sector parties and lead farmers.
He encouraged the students to make the best of the opportunity and graduate as full blown entrepreneurs who would work to push the economy forward.
“The initiative takes a comprehensive approach to horticulture by working with communities to increase awareness with regard to the importance of horticulture for the agriculture sector; partnering with local cooperatives and farmers to provide trainees with relevant knowledge and skills,” he said.
“It also involves working with farmers to help them increase their productivity after acquiring and utilising improved inputs and new technologies, and linking vegetable farmers with the local, regional and international markets.”
Mr Lawoetey Tettey, the Director of Human Resource Development and Management Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, joining the ceremony via Zoom, commended the various institutions for their support to ensure Ghana realised its agriculture projections.
He said the Government, under the Planting for Food and Jobs, was pursuing vegetable and greenhouse farming more seriously.
He, therefore, encouraged the students and the youth in general to take advantage of the opportunity to venture into horticulture, as a vocation and business, for a sustained future.
Mr Tettey said for the success of the project, the youth needed to be trained with the requisite skills and use modern technology and innovation in agriculture to enhance yield and improve production.
Ms Marjan Kreijns, the Director of the Green Village at TU Delft, reiterated the importance of training the youth of Ghana in horticulture, being one of the keys to economic development.
She urged all stakeholders to work together to ensure a boost in the agricultural sector to enhance livelihoods in farming communities of the country.
Mr Norbert van der Straaten, the Chief Executive Officer, Holland Green Tech, emphasized the need for young people to start their own businesses after school for a brighter future.
Revered Benjamin Asante Mensah, the Principal of Kwadaso Agricultural College, said the College had introduced a new technology in horticulture to help enhance studies and provide employment for the youth, thus making them more resourceful persons.