Govt Asked To Support Agric Schools

The National Agricultural College Students’ Union (ACSU) has called on the government to increase its support to agricultural schools to operate school farms amongst others to practically prepare their students for the job market.

Mr Chimbur Samson Sanika, President of ACSU, who made the call, said the government needed to support graduates of agricultural schools to establish their own farms as part of efforts to create jobs.

He was speaking at a forum for agricultural students as part of the Food and Agric Show 2017 (FAGRO) in Tamale to discuss the challenges agricultural students face as well as build and develop their leadership skills.

FAGRO 2017, which opened in Tamale last Tuesday, seeks to, among other things, connect players in the agribusiness sector in a bid to expand their projects for increased food production and job creation.

The week-long event, which ended on Saturday, also featured exhibition of agro inputs, implements and services, as well as business-to-business meetings, institutional seminars, business plan training camp for agribusinesses, leadership seminar for women in agriculture, farmer stakeholder engagements and mentorship programme.

The event, organised by the FAGRO Secretariat, was on the theme: ‘Creating Jobs in Agriculture: Northern Region in Focus.’

Master Sanika, who is a student of Damongo Agricultural College, said ACSU had identified that “there is a gap between industrial demands and training giving to agricultural students” making it difficult for graduates to secure jobs because they were not practically oriented in the areas of industrial demands.”

He said the situation made agricultural students feel neglected, adding that the government policies did not properly cater for agricultural schools, hence the need to support agricultural schools and graduates to establish their own farms to help in practical exercises and job creation.

Mr Senyo Kpelly, Chief Executive Officer of Savannah and Sahel Commodities Limited, who was part of the panel to mentor agricultural students during the forum, advised that training offered by schools must be market-driven to address the requirements of consumers.

Kpelly suggested that the syllabi of training schools be aligned towards industrial requirements such that training schools would be at the forefront in creating solutions but not the current situation where industry tried to create its own solutions.

He called for a long-term national agenda to come out with pragmatic solutions by ensuring good training for students to adequately respond to the needs of industry.