The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) is rolling out a ¢30-million package to support Youth in innovative agriculture.

The scheme themed “Youth in Innovative Agriculture Support” is line with government’s response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 under the Ghana Cares Obaatan Pa Programme.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme, Director of Business Support and Policy at NEIP, Franklin Owusu-Karikari indicated that the support comes in the form of soft loans.

“The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme is announcing an application for young Ghanaians to apply for the first phase of ‘Youth in Innovative Agriculture Support’ under the Ghana CARES “Obaatan Pa” Programme. Beneficiaries of the programme will receive an amount ranging from ¢20,000 to ¢200,000 as a flexible loan facility repayable within three to five years at an interest rate of 10% per annum,” he said.

The “Youth in Innovative Agriculture Support” seeks to narrow down to a minimum of 500 young farmers along the agricultural value chain.

However, the scheme, in phase one, will start with farmers engaged in vegetables, tubers and maize as well as players along the livestock chain, agro processing and agritech.

“Increased productivity in agricultural sector depends on the youth who compromise of about 30% to 40% of Ghana’s active population. Their energy and numbers provide tremendous opportunities for increasing agricultural productivity.”

“Notwithstanding, this phase will begin by soliciting applications from the following sectors under agribusiness; vegetable farming, maize farming, poultry/livestock, yam/cassava farming, agro processing and agritech,” Mr. Owusu-Karikari outlined.

Mr. Owusu-Karikari further explained that this scheme is different because selected farmers will be trained along with other benefits.

“Aside funding, the youth will be empowered to use technology and other innovative ways for smart farming. They will be taught to accept innovative farming as a commercial business, we will help them generate appreciable income and improve their standard of living as well as help them produce enough to complement the Planting for Food and Jobs,” he explained.

Applications are open till 5th February, 2022 for persons between 18 and 40 years.