The “Farmers Apprentice” TV Show is a 13 week practical hands-on agricultural campaign which will be broadcasted on Cine Plus on Multi TV and several other stations which will be announced soon.
Having realized the importance of Agriculture to the economy of every country, Mr. Emmanuel Amprofi disclosed to newsghana.com.gh that policy makers should give agriculture the needed attention since it provides a huge avenue to solve the high youth unemployment situation in the country.
He believes such initiatives will encourage more young people to take up agriculture as a full time business and diversify from the over reliance of Gold & cocoa. Ghana spends huge sums of money to import meat products, vegetables and other staple foods and Mr. Amprofi underscores the need to reverse this trend to make Ghana a net exporter of these products.
Mr. Amprofi is therefore inviting corporate bodies and other stakeholders to support the programme due to its impact on Ghana’s economy in the long term.
Below is the full speech by Mr. Emmanuel Amprofi during the launch of the programme in Accra:
WELCOME SPEECH by Emml. Ansah-Amprofi at Press launch of Farmers Apprentice Ghana
(A TV Reality show on Farming and Agribusiness)
All protocols observed
It is indeed my privilege and honour to welcome you all to this innovative TV reality show; the first of its kind in the area of Television in Africa dubbed “The Farmers Apprentice Ghana” (a Practical Farming & Agribusiness competition show). Farmers Apprentice was coined by Reed Business International owners of Farmers Weekly in the UK to help promote youth in agriculture.
As the result of this, my business partner Kelvin Nana Sarfo, (a UK-based Petroleum Engineer) and I saw the need to take this to a higher level by incorporating Agribusiness to this reality show to help inspire fresh farming talent in Ghana. That’s getting contestants (Ghanaian nationals only) to grow crops or rear farm animals, and with innovative business plans to manage and sustain their farms/agribusiness. This will go a long way to help unearth the pros and cons within the Ghanaian farming and Agribusiness as well as give people from all walks of life the ability to get a foot on the farming ladder.
1. We are all aware of the high youth unemployment situation in this country, like in other nations across Africa, and its consequences on our socio-economic well-being, (we now have Unemployed Graduate Association). Ghana is an agrarian economy and the fact that for years the country has not given agriculture the right attention due in part to over reliance on Gold & cocoa, is partly at the root of the unemployment problem. To put Ghana on the right course, policymakers must clearly recognized agriculture as the sector with the biggest potential for mass job creation and the most viable for poverty alleviation among both graduated and rural youth as well as women.
Ladies and Gentlemen, with our natural endowment for agriculture as you are all aware, should be a cardinal pillar in the transformation of our economy, it will interest us all to know how much we contributes to other economies by imports of basic or common foodstuffs. Which can all be grown here looking at our arable land and water resources.
Facts & Figures
Ghana spends about $200 million annually to import meat and meat products to satisfy local demand.
– Source: http://myjoyonline.com/business/2014
Ghana imports vegetables too! And here are the figures from 2009-2011
2009 =$8,4mil /2010=$11mil/2011=15million plus!!!
Source: United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database
Hold on here are more:
In 2013, tomato products imported amounted to US$112.1 million.
Same year, imports of poultry products amounted to US$169.2 million.
Ghana spent US$14.8million on onions, garlic, tomatoes and potatoes.
Rice imports amounted to US$374million.
Totalling US $670.1 million just on few areas.
Source: MOFA website
This provides us with enormous opportunities in the sector for employment and wealth creation for our teeming youth population. (If youth have 5% of any of the figure above which is $33.5 million) how positively our nation can be transformed. Therefore, Agripreneural and AgriBusiness training will be the vehicle that will properly situate our youth – both males and females to seize these opportunities for self-realisation and employment generation hence the Farmers Apprentice project!!
Farmers Apprentice Ghana, ladies and gentlemen, will provide this nation with the vehicle to change the fortunes of our teeming youth population and by extension the nation through the power of media. However it requires a collaborative approach and contributions of all from the public to private, civil societies and donor communities to attain the level of success it is capable of delivering.
Specifically, I wish to appeal to high net worth individuals, political office holders and the corporate world to channel a large chunk of your Corporate Social Responsibility budgets to upscale or contribute to youth employment in agriculture through support to enabling environment, patient capital windows, revitalization of our extension systems, provision of social safety nets, increase access to productive resources for youth and women especially in the rural areas. These measures will enable our youth and women to unlock and access the employment generation potentials of the sector and set Ghana on the way to industrialization.
2. Finally, I want to appeal to you all to open your doors to us and follow the 13 week long practical hands-on campaign to use media to drive a behavioural change and attitudes towards farming and agriculture. We will be on 3 major television channels (Cine Plus on Multi TV and 2 others to be confirmed later due to on-going negotiations), radio and the internet so you can be assured that when you sponsor us your brand or products will get the maximum impact needed. We edge the business community to support this initiative and others related to farming and Agribusiness because this is the surest way to a brighter Africa.
Thank you all for your attention.
Source : newsghana.com.gh