2022 National Best Farmer advice National Service Personnel to embrace agribusiness

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Members of the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) have been advised to embrace agribusiness as a viable alternative to finding sustainable jobs. 

They should not be fixated on finding office jobs when there are vast opportunities to explore in the agricultural sector to earn decent incomes.

Oheneba Yaw Sarpong Siriboe, the 2022 National Best Farmer who gave the advice, said deliberate efforts to get the youth to embrace agribusiness was the to go as a country determined to address youth unemployment.

He was speaking at a youth development seminar organised by the Christian Service University (CSU) in partnership with National Service Scheme (NSS) and NASPA as part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of CSU.

The theme for the seminar was: “Life after National Service: What Possibilities?” and the goal was to offer practical solutions to the problem of unemployment beyond the mandatory national service.

Oheneba Yaw Siriboe argued that the problem of youth unemployment is real and pervasive in the Ghanaian society, citing statistics from credible government and international sources to back his argument.

He observed that the challenge of unemployment among the youth required urgent attention not only from the government but industry and academia as well.

He therefore commended the University for putting together such a programme to shape the perspectives of the NASPA members particularly as they prepare to exit the mandatory one-year national service.

As a successful agro-entrepreneur, he urged the youth to embrace sustainable agribusiness to transform their economic circumstances, reminding them that university education only provides the platform for individual to “fit” into the world.

He further argued that irrespective of the programme one offered at the university, it could serve as a springboard to conceptualise to principle to generate wealth through agribusiness.

He explained that his background as a mechanical engineer had greatly impacted his agribusiness adding that irrespective of one’s first-degree specialisation, venturing into agribusiness will not be a problem.

Rt. Rev. Prof. Osei Safo-Kantanka, a Former Council Chair of CSU, alluded to his academic background as an agronomist from first degree to professorial level to support the claims made by Oheneba Yaw Siriboe.

He particularly supported the call to embrace agribusiness with the enormous benefits it comes with.

He challenged the youth to consciously deal with what he described as “entitlement mentality and dependency syndrome” that had been the bane of the economic emancipation of Ghanaian youth.

According to him, the sad and debilitating story has been that most youth of productive and creative age only saw life through the lenses of “white collar jobs.”

While admitting that governments must create employment opportunities for the youth, he was also of the firm believe that the youth must create their own destinies without over relying on stop gap interventions that have been witnessed under successive governments under the Fourth Republic.

Mr. Prince Kankam Boadu, the Ashanti Regional Director of NSS, expressed appreciation to the CSU for such a timely initiative which was in line with NSS’s commitment of preparing the youth for successful transition from national service to the job market.

He commended the guest speakers for providing practical solutions to navigate the job market and explore entrepreneurial ventures.

He urged the participants to reflect on the values and the skills they have acquired to impact their personal and professional lives.

Ms. Yaa Tweneboah Opoku Bandoh, the Ashanti Regional President of NASPA, applauded CSU for putting together the laudable initiative and hoped that the lessons learnt would be implemented beyond the forum.

She urged her colleagues to develop positive attitudes towards such programmes to equip themselves for life beyond national service.

Ms Tweneboah Opoku Bandoh asked them to be responsive to the changing dynamics and embrace opportunities that would earn them a living in a fast-changing work environment.

By Yussif Ibrahim, GNA

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