Africa-Press – Ghana. The trainees were selected across the country to benefit from the programme on agriculture, arts and crafts, among others, to build their capacity in the export business.
It is an initiative of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) in partnership with the National Service Scheme (NSS) and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA). The current edition is a scale-up of the pilot phase of the programme, which benefited 20 participants.
The YiEP is aimed at attracting the youth in agricultural crop production communities to take up farming as an export business to increase the number of Ghana’s youthful and educated population that is attracted to the agricultural export sector. Employment opportunities
Speaking in an interview at an orientation programme for the trainees in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said the YiEP sought to attract Ghanaian youth into agriculture and to create employment opportunities to reduce graduate unemployment in the country.
She said GEPA was hopeful that the YiEP initiative would help to increase production and improve non-traditional exports (NTEs) to achieve a revenue target of US$25.3 billion by 2028.
She said the initiative was developed based on the high demand for Ghanaian products within those categories on the international market. The observation is based on what the authority has noticed in the various trade fairs and exhibitions it has participated in abroad in the past few years.
“This programme was instituted some years ago to help the youth to set up their businesses because most of the time when we travel out to sell Ghana on the global market, we get orders of which we are not able to meet the demand.“So we decided to use the youth to expand our raw material base by setting them up in these areas to produce more,” she said.
Take advantage The Director of the YiEP project, Alexander Dadzawa, urged the trainees to take up the lessons seriously by taking good advantage of this opportunity to start small and grow into something big as there would be a ready market for their products.
“We are here to provide you with the necessary support once you have graduated. We will find you land, seedlings, technology and other start-up materials to ensure you can set off successfully.
“It is also designed to be an avenue for the youth to earn decent incomes from agricultural and other exports, thus putting them on the pedestal to become self-employed,” he said.
He added that the 20 youths that were trained in the pilot project had all been set up and were doing great in their respective production fields. Testimony
A graduate of the YiEP pilot phase, Mary Adjei, said she was now producing pineapples in commercial quantity following the apprenticeship programme. She urged the youth across the country who were still looking for jobs to consider farming as a profession rather than chasing white-collar jobs.