OCP Africa, a subsidiary of OCP Group, a leading global producer of phosphate and its derivatives, has supported the third edition of Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue (AG-STUD) Programme for Agric students in some Universities in Ghana.
Participating schools from University of Ghana, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kwadaso Agricultural College, University of Developmental Studies, University of Cape Coast, Fair River Farm Institute, Damango Agricultural College, Asuansi Farm institute and Northern Agri-Youth Hub were coached to scale up their production while they presented their business ideas before a five-member panel.
The programme, organized by Agrihouse Foundation, from 10th to 13th March, was under the theme: “Growing Futures: Establishing the Agric Youth”, camped over 30 students, representing AG-STUD Business Clubs from schools across the country. The boot camp is aimed at empowering the youth in a futuristic way to support Ghana’s objective of food security, while providing employment.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of AG-STUD Africa Bootcamp, which was attended by various stakeholders like NGOs, private institutions, students and farmers, Mark Segbefia, Business Development Manager at OCP Africa Ghana and trainer at the boot camp stated: “We strongly believe in youth and we work tirelessly towards empowering them through education, innovation, and capacity building. With over 100 million young Africans expected to enter the job market by 2030, we need to create greater youth interest in agriculture, hence the support we provide to Agrihouse, in this third edition of the Agricultural Students Career Guidance and Mentorship Dialogue Bootcamp (AGSTUD).”
He said, “In line with our support to the youth in Ghana and Africa, OCP Africa supports the IMPULSE startup accelerator programme, developed by the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in partnership with MassChallenge, which aims at accelerating start-ups and active agri-entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector,” adding that, “three Ghanaian companies, Trotro Tractor, SAYeTECH and Esoko were selected and are currently participating in the training and mentorship programme at Casablanca, Morocco.”
Mr. Segbefia encouraged the students to take their studies in Agric very seriously and apply everything they have learnt at the boot camp.
On her part, Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, stated, “The boot camp aims at inspiring agricultural students and startups in the value chain as well as expose them to the dynamics of the market through leadership programmes on agribusinesses”, stressing that, “experts with relevant knowledge and practical experience were selected for the programme.”
According to her AG-STUD has groomed and transformed over 600 students and beginners to see agribusiness as a lucrative career path. It has also supported 10 corporate institutions to identify and engage outstanding students to serve as interns and/or fulltime employees.”
Mrs Catherine Fabbi, Head Mentor for AG-STUD, said the training would propel the youth to see opportunities in the sector and venture into agriculture for their livelihoods and national development.
Some of the mentees were excited about the skills they have acquired in the programme. They urged the organizers to sustain the boot camp in order to attract the youth to venture into farming.