THE Finatrade Foundation and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have launched a collaborative farm project dubbed ‘Finatrade Foundation Model Farm Project’, with a pledge by the foundation to encourage the youth to take up farming as a viable full-time employment venture.
The Chairperson of the foundation, Ms Joyce Aryee, who made the pledge last Wednesday, said the efforts of her outfit at developing the human resource for increased production in the agricultural sector would set a good example for Ghanaian farmers to follow.
At the launch, Finatrade presented a cheque for GH¢50,000 to boost the project, whose main focus is to train graduates of Agriculture to be well equipped to contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture and the attendant food security for the country.
It will also provide an alternative source of income for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) of KNUST and further serve as a facility for applied research.
The KNUST is participating in the project through the CANR.
Ms Aryee called for a paradigm shift in the nation’s approach to agricultural development, saying that even with abundant arable land, the nation had not been able to benefit from the worsening global food situation, while the reduction in import duties on food had not been able to alleviate the hardships on the people.
She touched on unemployment amongst the youth and said Finatrade Group believed that farming could serve as the answer to the problem.
The Finatrade chairperson stated that over the years the foundation had launched several initiatives to support the various sectors of the economy, including a scholarship scheme to support brilliant, needy students at the faculties of Agriculture in the four public universities in the country.
The scholarship, launched four years ago, had so far benefited 66 students.
Another initiative was the partnership with the Graphic Communications Group Limited to help propagate relevant information on democracy, education, health, water and sanitation and other relevant socio-economic activities in the country.
She said 3,000 copies of Graphic Nsempa, a community newspaper, are circulated every week, courtesy the Finatrade Foundation.
The Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. K. K. Adarkwa, commended the foundation for the gesture and expressed the hope that it would help change the attitude of young graduates towards agriculture.
He said the CANR had acquired a 58-seater bus to convey students to and from the farm and assured Finatrade that he would take a personal interest in the project to ensure its success.