Several organizations, including the Agricultural Development bank have committed financial and technical support towards the organization of the 4th annual Agricultural Students career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue & Bootcamp (AG-STUD Africa) organized by Agrihouse Foundation, scheduled to hold from April 19 to 23, 2021.
The list of organizations includes OCP, MyBarnes, Holland Akokor, CDF Canada, ADDFRA, Sonal Global, and Nanaam Ventures.
This is the third time running ADB is supporting the 5-day bootcamp which seeks to build the capacity of the Ghanaian youth in innovative ways that feeds into the country’s agricultural objective of achieving food security, while providing them with sustainable employment.
The bootcamp, annually brings together agricultural students, beginner agribusinesses and start-ups to appreciate the pivotal role they are expected to play, in building resilience and preparedness towards sustaining the food security of the nation through creative and innovative agriculture.
The bootcamp employs Military disciplinary drills, Mentorship sessions, coaching, educational tours, dialogues, role play, strategic competence-based capacity building and leadership sessions, to contribute to the mindset change, whiles attracting campers to appreciate the entire value chain cycle, the roles and career path, they can create and ultimately, assisting them to develop their business ideas and ensuring implementation of their business.
The Head of Marketing and Communications at ADB, Mr. Selorm Amevor reiterated ADB’s desire to contribute to the future building of the Agri-Youth, through the AG-STUD bootcamp initiative.
We are going to lead two major training sessions during the bootcamp; “Financial Modelling, Planning and Securing Financing and, “Developing or securing infrastructure, for a new farm enterprise. We are hoping that at the end of the day, we shall work closely with the Agrihouse Foundation and the campers to support and enable them establish and grow their business.
In their respective statements, CDF Canada and Holland Akokor both reiterated the need for corporate entities to support Agrihouse to lead the charge, in scaling up the bootcamp initiative, which has over the last four (4) years, trained and equipped about six hundred students directly, across the country.
CDF Canada will be leading the campers through the 4R’s of Farming Practices, during the 5-day bootcamp, while Holland Arkokor will be sharing the, “An entrepreneurs’ journey”, with the campers.
In a brief statement, Sonal Global, who will equally be leading the coaching session on quality food production systems and standards, commended Agrihouse Foundation for creating a platform that continues to make an impact positively on the agri-youth.
OCP noted they are keenly looking forward to the main event while praising Agrihouse for being consistent with its efforts to increase young agripreneurs in the country.
Nanaam ventures noted that the food security of the nation depends greatly on its youthful population, and therefore urged the student’s and beginner agribusinesses who will be part of the bootcamp to take advantage of the learning opportunity to build their capacity.
Schools and institutions participating in the 5-day bootcamp include Ejura Agric College, Kwadaso, Damongo, Animal Health, Fair River, Asuanzi, Wenchi, Animal Health, All Nations, UCC, Christian College, UDS, Legon, KNUST, Central and University of Energy, and Ohaw Agric College respectively.
Ms. Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, said, the 5- day bootcamp will be a scale-up of the last 3 events, employing more practical, action-oriented, creative and innovative structures, that will drive and engineer speed for growth, amongst the campers.
This year’s bootcamp is on the theme, “We have enabled and established the Agri-youth! Time to Scale-Up them-up to feed Ghana,” is a call on corporate institutions, development partners, Government, and stakeholders to join hands with Agrihouse Foundation, to support in scaling-up the agri-businesses, that has already been established, whiles supporting other promising youth to identify and build career paths within the value chain.
The Agricultural student’s career guidance and mentorship dialogue bootcamp, (AG-STUD Africa), started in 2018, with nine institutions, and has steadily grown to be camping sixteen institutions (4 students from each school), “Our growing list of schools is a clear indication of the positive socio-economic impacts the program is having on participants and this year, we are committed to ensuring that our youth are equipped to feed the nation going forward,” Alberta noted.
She said, this year’s bootcamp will engage campers in activities such as military disciplinary drills; agri-ted mentorship talks with industry leaders who will be present to share impactful stories of their life and professional experiences; An ag-voyage experience, which is an educational and tour to a number of agribusinesses and factories; business ideas presentations; brainstorming sessions with coaches; competency-based training sessions, with a focus on planning the economic sustainability of the new a new farm enterprise, going digital; role-plays and other learning modules by the coaches and mentors who will be present with the campers.
Highlighting impacts of the bootcamp, Alberta said, over the years, AG-STUD AFRICA, has introduced participating students and groups to several opportunities within the agricultural value chain; the platform continues to educate them with relevant knowledge and skills on how to harness such opportunities.
As a result, over 600 students from 30 different schools who have participated in previous editions of AG-STUD have been taught to be self-reliant and supported with start-up capital to help them start their own agri-businesses.
Indirectly, the bootcamp has benefitted over 1000 agri-business students and beginner agribusinesses enabling them to develop strong and bankable business plans. About 43 successful businesses are presently being run by students who have participated in AG-STUD.
According to Alberta, the primary objective of AG-STUD is to “Grow Futures,” by helping the students and beginner Agribusinesses, to appreciate the key roles they play in the growth and future of the entire agribusiness sector.
In the 2nd year, the goal was to establish the Agri-youth, thus the theme, ‘Growing futures; establishing the Agri-youth. In the 3rd year, the bootcamp sought to ‘enable’, and therefore chose the theme, “Growing futures, Enabling the Agri-youth.”
“In this 4th year, our objective is to support start-up agribusinesses to survive and sustain, to help our young agripreneurs, to be more resilient to feed their household, community, and the nation,” she stressed.
She said, students are going to leave this year’s bootcamp with practical knowledge in the production process; that will guarantee maximum efficacy; develop businesses, and be able to sustain them.
“We intend to assist our business clubs with opening bank accounts, seed capital to commence the Agribusiness idea/ initiative; a start-up input pack for farming and a business plan to direct their business idea. We will keep checking up on them as a way of monitoring, to help them establish themselves,” she added.
Ms. Akosa described AG-STUD bootcamp as an innovative vehicle by which the passion and capacity of Ghanaian youth for agriculture can be ignited and developed, and therefore used to the opportunity to call for corporate support towards the annual event.