By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
THE Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has commended Finatrade Group for its move to encourage agriculture graduates of the university to take up farming as a full time employment.
Prof. K.K. Adarkwa, vice chancellor of the university said the Finatrade initiative was one of the best things to happen to the university.
Finatrade chalked another first last Wednesday with the launch of a collaborative farm project with the KNUST called, ‘Finatrade Foundation Model Farm Project’.
Four universities submitted proposals for sponsorship of the project but KNUST was chosen because they produced a good proposal with a good budget.
The project is expected to train agriculture graduates in practical agriculture to make them well equipped to take up farming as a business.
Finatrade presented GH¢50,000 to the university to serve as seed money for the project.
The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the KNUST is representing the university in the project.
Prof Adarkwa said the Finatrade gesture would greatly complement government efforts at changing the face of agriculture in the country for the better.
He noted the tremendous support Finatrade was giving to the Faculty of Agriculture and said, “Since 2005, Finatrade Foundation has provided five scholarships each year to needy but brilliant students of the faculty”.
“I am informed that so far 20 students have benefited from this assistance, each receiving GH¢500 per annum for the duration of their studies as long as they are in good academic standing”, he said.
Prof Adarkwa said the problem of means of transport to convey students to and from the farm for practical training had been solved with the acquisition of a 58-seater TATA bus.
The bus, he said, was purchased through financial contributions of the students themselves and the faculty.
Prof Adarkwa said the KNUST had recently introduced a students’ financial assistance scheme for which funds are solicited from philanthropists and corporate bodies.
The accumulated funds are used to assist needy but brilliant students in their academic work and added that so far the GET Fund is the major contributor.
The chairperson of Finatrade Group, Ms Joyce Aryee, gave the assurance that the foundation would continue to encourage the youth especially those from the universities to embrace farming as a viable full time employment venture.
“We want to portray through this project that it is good as well as profitable to engage in farming”, she said and therefore called on well meaning Ghanaians to go into agriculture and resolve never to look back.
She noted that developing the human resource base for increased production in the agricultural sector was very important if the nation was to move forward in its development efforts.
Ms Aryee pointed out that it was regrettable that in spite of the large arable lands, the nation was unable to meet its food production targets.
This, she noted, called for a paradigm shift in the nation’s approach to agriculture development.
She said the unemployment situation could minimise if the youths were made to take up farming.
Mrs Aryee stated that Finatrade has been supporting other sectors of the economy grow and pledged that this would continue with all seriousness.
He mentioned the partnership with the Graphic Communications Group Limited to help propagate relevant information about democracy, education, health, water and sanitation, as well as other socio-economic activities in the country.
She said 3000 copies of Graphic Nsempa are circulated every week at the instance of Finatrade Foundation.
In attendance was Mr John Awuni and Dr Kobina Quamoh, all of Finatrade Foundation.