The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has initiated a partnership with the Israeli government to send some fifty students to undergo a one year paid internship in Israel.
The program which will begin in September this year, will have students trained in modern agriculture practices especially in the area of Green House vegetable production which according to the sector minister, Owusu Afriyie Akoto, will help Ghana increase its local production and export of vegetables after their return.
Speaking at an encounter with the press on the side lines of a breakfast meeting on “Innovative Financing of Commercial Agriculture” in Ghana Mr. Afriyie Akoto said the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two governments is part of his outfit’s plans to make Ghana a leader in vegetable export and reduce unemployment among the youth.
“When I came into office the students after their training were at home with their parents. How can people who have been trained in a specialized area be home instead of putting those skills to use? So I went to Israel, entered into a negotiation with the government and I am happy to say out of those negotiations in September this year 50 of our trained students will now go to Israel to work for eleven months as paid workers so that when they come back we will set them up with green houses. We are going to make business farmers out of them,” he noted.
Mr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto further urged the students who will be selected to participate in the program, to take advantage of the opportunity and acquire all necessary skills during the internship.
“This is a huge opportunity for our youth in Ghana. It is also important for us to be able to diversify our agriculture exports by entering into markets of the European Union. We are talking about taking advantage of countries such as South Africa and Kenya especially since we are just six hours apart. So this is a huge project that we are embarking on in terms of what we call the green house villages. Once our students return, with the knowledge that they have acquired and a little savings from their time there, we as a government can support them and see to it that they establish here so we can benefit from them as a country,” he added.