By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
IN line with its policy of contributing positively towards Ghana’s agricultural development with the youth as the focus, Finatrade Foundation has added 20 more agriculture students to the list of beneficiaries of its scholarship scheme in four public universities in the country.
Last Tuesday, a ceremony was held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi where the students, all undergraduates from the KNUST, University of Ghana, University of Development Studies and the University of Cape Coast, were presented with their awards.
Each of them will receive financial support of GH¢600 every year for the period of their programmes of study.
So far106 agriculture students have benefited from the scholarship scheme, which was established about five years ago.
Before the current beneficiaries, all the previous beneficiaries received GH¢500 a year.
With financial support from its sponsors, Finatrade Group, Finatrade Foundation, instituted the award scheme for needy, brilliant students pursuing programmes in agriculture in the four universities.
In a speech at the ceremony, the Chairperson of the Executive Council of the Finatrade Foundation, Ms Joyce Aryee, said the Foundation’s policy on agriculture was being pursued with all seriousness.
She said the fact that the youth held the key to improving the nation’s agriculture was unquestionable.
Ms Aryee disclosed that since the establishment of the scheme, two batches of beneficiaries had completed their programmes of study with many of them receiving first class honours.
“One significant feature of the scholarship scheme is that the students are given the opportunity to work as interns with the Finatrade Group during semester breaks to prepare them practically for future jobs”, she said.
She announced a collaborative initiative between the foundation and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) towards the institution of a programme with the focus of solving agricultural and industrial related problems confronting the country.
She also touched on the foundation’s model farm project initiated in collaboration with the College of Agriculture of the KNUST and said it was making progress.
She reiterated the importance of ICT in the modern day activities and said as a result the foundation was supporting the government to advance ICT education in second cycle institutions.
“In partnership with the Kofi Annan Centre for ICT Excellence, we, for the first time in the history of this country, successfully raised an ICT team at the Senior High School (SHS) level to participate in informatics in Egypt last year”, she said.
Ms Aryee also disclosed that the foundation also collaborated with the chiefs and people of Asante-Akim Wankyi in the Ashanti Region to put up a three-classroom computer complex in 2007.
The Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, Professor K.K. Adarkwa, said the Finatrade example was worth commending.
The Vice-chancellor charged the beneficiaries to make good use of the assistance so that the nation would benefit from them in future.
The Guest Speaker at the ceremony was Dr A.B. Salifu who is the Director General of the CSIR. He said agriculture was the key to national growth and must be given all the support it deserves.