Bunso (E/R), March 4, GNA – The first batch of Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training (ATVET) leaners in oil palm have graduated from the University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (UCAES) at Bunso in the Eastern Region.
The 101 graduates have gone through 10 weeks of competency-based training in oil palm under Ghana’s ATVET initiative.
The initiative seeks to build the skills of the youth for employment and entrepreneurship in the country’s oil palm sector.
Mr Eric Arthur, an agri-business entrepreneur and the General Manager of Sweet Life Group Ghana Limited, producers of miracle berry powder, urged the graduates to utilise the skills gained to create their own jobs instead of depending on other companies.
He said Ghana’s agriculture sector provided a huge opportunity for agri-business entrepreneurs, which needed to be utilised for job creation and expansion of entrepreneurial opportunities.
Mr Arthur said that would help improve on agriculture, which is the mainstay of the Ghanaian economy.
The competency-based training was developed by Solidaridad, an international civil society organisation, with funding from the Embassy of the Netherlands in Accra.
The Swiss Government, through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, and the GIZ also funded the training towards a sustainable palm oil production in Ghana.
Mr Philip Stalder, the Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, commended Ghana for investing in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).
He assured Ghana of his government's readiness to partner the country to realise greater impact on competency-based training in oil palm, cashew and other agriculture sub-sectors as it had done in the past three years.
Mr Ron Strikker, the Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, reiterated the importance of TVET to the development of Ghana’s economy and said the Dutch Government would support it to a level that would yield more results.
He the Dutch Government had jointly supported the development of oil palm with the Swiss Government through the Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil programme, being implemented by Solidaridad, to support technical and vocational education.
Dr Charles Brempong-Yeboah, the Acting Rector of UCAES, said the University was committed to improving the knowledge and skills needed for development and improvement in the agricultural sector.
He called for support towards the installation of green houses for experiment and practical training.
Osabarima Abea Brakatu Ofori Aninkra, the Chief of Bunso, commended the Government and stakeholders for their support towards the programme.
He called for concerted efforts to clamp down illegal mining to ensure that enough arable land space was created to attract the Ghanaian youth into agriculture.