Six higher institutions agree to implement the KIC AgriTech Challenge Programme

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Kosmos

The Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), a non-profit organisation with focus on powering innovation, transforming communities and impacting lives, today signed on six more tertiary institutions to promote youth entrepreneurship and agribusiness.

KosmosThey are Kwadaso, Ejura, Ohawu and Damongo Agriculture Colleges, C. K. Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences (CKT-UTAS), Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED).

The six join the existing 10 tertiary institutions, totaling 16, that have agreed to implement the KIC AgriTech Challenge Programme to train students and informal young farmers in agri-entrepreneurship and innovation.

Mr Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, the Executive Director of KIC, signed for his outfit while the Pro-Vice Chancellors and Principals initiated for their respective institutions in Accra.

The initiative forms part of the scaling up of KIC’s programmes under its multi-year partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, to create dignified and fulfilling employment opportunities for young people.

Mr Gyan-Kesse emphasized KIC’s commitment to youth development, working in collaboration with its partners to provide practical business training for young agripreneurs along the entire agricultural value chain.

“It is our focus to empower young men and women to drive innovation in agriculture towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.” Mr Gyan-Kesse said.

He said some of the programmes that will be run within the two-year agreement include the AgriTech Challenge Classic, AgriTech Challenge Pro, and Young AgriPreneur Forum.

Through the AgriTech Challenge Classic and Pro programmes, students receive mentorship, training, and networking opportunities to start and grow their business.

Mr Gyan-Kesse stated that students who went through to the business incubation stage, received funding support from KIC together with its partners to enable them scale-up their businesses and become investor ready.

This year, he noted that KIC had also introduced the Young Farmer Business Academy (YFBA) to nurture and support the next generation of commercial farmers, beginning with the six new universities and colleges.

This model will focus on training young people in primary agricultural production, providing them with resources and financial support.

The beneficiaries, the Executive Director of KIC said, would also receive capacity building on the adoption of good agricultural practices, as well as farm business management.

Mr Bright Akoto, the Principal, Ejura Agric College, said it would enhance and expand the institution’s mandate to train and equip middle-level manpower with the requisite skills and knowledge in modern agricultural practices and agribusiness skills to provide technical and advisory services to farmers.

He said the skills and knowledge acquired would assist them to set up their own private agribusiness enterprises.

“Under the partnership, we will train 50,000 youth to gain employable skills and we will ensure that it will be delivered,” he said.

Professor Samson Abah Abagale, the Acting Vice Chancellor of CKT-UTAS, said the ideals of KIC were in sync with the university’s goal of using science technology to provide solutions including post-harvest losses in tomatoes.

The project, he said, would be extended to the youth interested in agriculture to address the old age challenge of internal migration to the south for menial jobs.

“The youth have energy and will but they lack the resources. Now we have a considerable amount and KIC will bult technical competencies to start engaging them to stay and be productive,” he said.

The other 10 partnering universities already on the programme include University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast, Bolgatanga Technical University, and Takoradi Technical University,

The rest are Ho Technical University, Koforidua Technical University, University of Development Studies, SD Dombo University of Business & Integrated Development Studies, and University of Energy and Natural Resource.

By Albert Oppong-Ansah

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