The Ghana National Service Scheme has handed over 4,500 maxi bags of maize to the 95 senior high schools in the Ashanti region.

This is the second time the scheme has done this, after it first gave 6,000 bags of maize to the senior high schools in Ashanti region last year. The maize is part of the produce harvested from the Scheme’s maize farm project in Ejura.

The handing over which was performed by the acting Minister of education, E.T. Mensah and the Ashanti Regional Minister Dr. Kwaku Agyeman Mensah was graced by chiefs, members of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools and pupils from the various senior High schools.

The acting Minister of Education in a speech said it was time that the youth took agriculture seriously, because agriculture offers a viable means of employment and livelihood anywhere around the world. He said that it is wrong for people to be doing menial jobs and receiving paltry sums at the end of every month under the disguise of employment, explaining that such situations bring no joy in life.

The Ashanti Regional Minister said he was proud that the NSS agric projects started in his region, pledging the continued support of the Regional Coordinating Council for the NSS to ensure the projects are expanded to provide food for the general population and offer employment to the youth.

The Executive Director of NSS, Vincent Senam Kuagbenu said the scheme through the agric projects was ready to confront challenges facing Ghana.

He said from its humble beginnings in Ejura, now the NSS has agric projects in six regions and ready to expand to other regions and expressed his gratitude to the chiefs and the government for their support.

Receiving the bags of maize, the Ashanti regional president of CHASS thanked the NSS, praising the critical support to the schools by way of teaching personnel and now with food.

He said there has been tremendous improvement in the results of pupils because of the availability of personnel to teach the pupils even in the remotest schools in the region. He said the provision of maize has come to save the schools because with the astronomical increases in the price of maize it would have been difficult for the schools to afford the maize at the prevailing market prices.

He said he hoped the NSS will collaborate with some of the schools that would also want to venture into agriculture.

In a related development the scheme has also handed over 4,000 bags of yellow corn to the Ghana Nuts Company at Branam near Wenchi. The Wenchi NSS project is the first by the scheme in the Brong Ahafo region. The over 4,500 bags of yellow maize was farmed on a 163 acre land which had been declared infertile.

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo who handed over the yellow maize to the Ghana Nuts Company said what the NSS has done on that land was a miracle. The yellow maize will be used by the Ghana Nuts Company to produce feed for the local poultry industry. He said the region will support the NSS to do even more.

Mr. Obed Asante, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company also praised the NSS and said that the company was ready for a long term partnership with the NSS. He said if the youth gets into agriculture it could save Ghana hundreds of millions of dollars every year from importing maize to produce chicken feed.