Kumasi, Sept. 29, GNA – Mr Pieter Smidt Van Gelder, the Deputy Head of Mission of the European Union (EU) in Ghana, has urged the country to ensure effective integration of the youth in horticulture.
That, he said, would not only promote growth of the sector but create employment and sustainable livelihoods for the youth.
Additionally, horticulturists must be helped with modern technology to meet international standards and compete favourably on the global market for increased foreign exchange.
Mr Van Delder was speaking at a training workshop on horticulture entrepreneurship for prospective farmers and some youth groups in agriculture among other stakeholders at the Kwadaso Agricultural College in the Ashanti Region.
It was organised under the “Achipelago Project” being implemented by the EU in collaboration with the Tu-Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and Holland Greentech, while the Kwadaso Agricultural College is the beneficiary institution in Ghana.
It aimed at improving entrepreneurial and horticultural education to help create sustainable jobs in the horticulture.
Mr Van Gelder said the project’s objective was to improve the employability of the youth, especially those in the targeted technical and vocational training institutions in the horticulture value chain.
He said it would help provide essential skills and knowledge to farmers to produce quality high yielding and healthy products.
The project would also strengthen the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the sector and increase the abilities of young people to integrate firmly in the horticultural production and distribution chain, he said.
Madam Lindsey Schwidder, the Project Manager and a Lecturer at Tu- Delft University, called for the development the technological mindset and skills of the youth to overcome complex challenges in horticulture.
She said the key component of the project was to interact with youth and facilitate their learning through tool sets and discussions.
“They are helped to focus on practice and research on the job market to get real experience,” she stated.
The Reverend Benjamin Asante Mensah, the Principal, Kwadaso Agricultural College, said most of the old students had benefited from the project by setting up their own SMEs.
They had also been able to register those enterprises and given cubicles at the Kumasi Business Incubator at KNUST to develop and grow their business.
The participants, as part of the workshop, inspected the Field Drip Irrigation System and the Weather Station at the College, which helps in checking humidity and determines when a particular crop could be planted.