The maiden edition of the Youth in Agribusiness Festival has launched by John Agyekum Kufour Foundation (JAKF) to establish the Youth in Agribusiness Information hub in Ghana.
The JAK Foundation has pledged its commitment to continue to promote youth development in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Foundation, Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah, who made the remarks said the Foundation does not only see young people as future leaders but as people who should be prepared so that when they assume leadership in the future, they can work and do better things.
For him, the Foundation has developed as one of its three key focal areas, with the other two areas being leadership and governance.
Prof. Agyeman-Duah who was speaking at the launch of the Foundation’s maiden Youth in Agribusiness Festival in Accra on Thursday, March 31, 2022, said the Foundation over the years had been promoting agriculture through advocacy and at times through direct support.
Youth in Agribusiness Festival
The festival with the theme; “Youth in Agribusiness in Ghana: the story so far and the way forward” will be a one-stop shop where all the necessary information needed for the development and sustainability of agribusiness could be accessed by the young individuals in Ghana.
“The festival is designed to showcase the outstanding development of young people within the agribusiness sector. It seeks to celebrate distinguished young agribusiness practitioners by providing the platform for them to share their success stories.
“It is therefore important to provide the platform to share the experiences, learn lessons, and network along the value chain which will serve as an inspiration to generate interest for both employed and unemployed youths, more especially for those who do not see agribusiness as an attractive business venture will be exposed to the achievement of youth in Agribusiness”, The Chief Executive Officer of JAKF Foundation Professor Baffour Agyemang Duah delivered.
The festival is to provide facilities for young entrepreneurs in the agric sector to network and also share their results with the public.
“We look forward to motivating more young people to accept agriculture and its related business as a commercial venture and to create linkages and business networking space for young agripreneurs with industry players and investors”, he added.
He further said a month before the main festival, there will be a pre-engagement on agribusiness educational programmes for the students from selected universities such as the University of Development Studies, University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Education Winneba, Kumasi Technical University, some agriculture colleges, and selected youth groups.
The festival will witness activities such as agribusiness products and services, finance and investment forum where discussions on innovative financing and investment streams to support young agribusiness practitioners in Ghana.
“We want to encourage agribusiness companies, private investors, and financial institutions to also invest in the youth. The festival will also highlight the current situations and challenges for youth engagement in agribusiness.
“Getting more youth into this festival is going to contribute to the reduction of unemployment in Ghana”, he added.
The Head of the Agri-Biz programme at GIZ, Dr. Elke Stumpf said the GIZ is working on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Corporative Development to share a future around the world for the youth and women specifically.
GIZ Agri-Biz programme is to support the Ghanaian government with job creation and support youth business startups. This programme is to support the private sector by reaching continental trades.
“Trading is an important and crucial aspect of any business or entrepreneurs for reaching international markets”.
The CEO of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme Ghana, Mr. Kofi Ofosu Nkansah stated that they are excited to be a part of the festival.
The festival seeks to showcase the outstanding development of young people within the agribusiness sector of the country and demonstrate to the youth the endless opportunities of the sector and encourage more youth to venture into agribυsiness.
“As a government programme responsible for the youth enterprise, we are to support the youth enterprises like the agribusiness, therefore, we see this festival as a good platform for partnership in the attainment of the programme objectives”, he said.
Agriculture in Ghana requires restructuring to give the youth the opportunities to contribute to food security and good health. Skills are key to designing a sustainable programme to change the transformation narrative of this country.
There are several government interventions that have to be put in place to develop the youth. The CEO of the Chamber of Agribυsiness, Ghana Mr. Anthony Morrison, launched the festival explained.
He underscored the need for youth transformation to develop and transform Africa. He mentioned that the World Bank report has stated clearly that unless the African continent embraces the youth, technology, high skills, and mechanization, Africa will be deprived of the trillion-dollar by 2030.
In order words, if technology, and youth participation in agriculture are embraced African farmers will make a trillion-dollar in 2030.
“I strongly believe that Ghana has what it takes both comparatively and competitively to change the agriculture transformation, and as stakeholders, we should all contribute to this transformation”.
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The head of marketing and communication at Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Solomon Adu Atefoe explained that ADB is associated with youth in agribusiness festival is critical by focusing on agribυsiness, especially for youth development.
ADB is committed to supporting the youth showing interest in agriculture with both technical and financial support, “we are happy to partner with the John Agyekum Kufour Foundation for this project and hope to see a successful end he added”.
The festival will bring together major stakeholders and young agribυsiness practitioners on one platform to share their experiences, learn lessons, network, and forge strategic partnerships along the agricultural value chain.
Again, the festival will create an investment into business opportunities for the development of the agribusiness sector that will be attractive to young people to venture into agribυsiness.
Some of the stakeholders who were present at the launch were the Ghana Investment Promotion, National Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Programme, National Youth Authority, GIZ-Agribiz Project, Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, Oak Foundation, Kent Investment, Ghana Association of Journalist in Agriculture and Agribusiness Student Association of Ghana.