Some educational institutions are exploring innovative ways of generating income to support their activities.
The Techiman campus of Valley View University is for instance is searching for investors to help implement a 5-year development plan for its commercial agriculture initiatives involving poultry, maize, citrus, vegetable, fish as well as honey.
The university has over the years been producing enough to feed the campus community and sell the surplus.
The Techiman Campus of the Valley View University is located on about 320 acres of fertile land – out of which only 52 acres is being used for fruit and vegetable production.
About 30 acres is also being used as the school’s maize farm and university authorities plan to increase the size to 60 acres this farming season as part of initiatives to commercialize their farming activities.
Vice Rector of the Techiman campus of the Valley View University, Asare-Bediako Ankrah says all is set for the commercial farming.
“In the next few years ahead of us, we want to commercialize all our farming activities. We have even gone into vegetable production. We have gone into this type of irrigation, we call it Drill and we have spent a lot on this Drill System so that we can produce vegetables throughout the year”. He revealed.
The university over the years has been using the farms as a training ground for students and also uses the produce to feed over 4000 students and sell surplus to the general public.
Management of the university recently signed an agreement with a Kumasi-based fruit beverage company, E-Juice to process cashew fruits produced from the school farm.
Until then, cashew fruits were allowed to rot after the nuts were harvested.
It is also searching for investors to partner it implement the 5-year development plan for its commercial agric initiatives.
“There are so many areas here they can invest. They can decide to put up hostel facilities for our agri-business and some other students. They can invest into the poultry production, fish farming, mushroom production and all other farming activities on campus”
Head of the Agribusiness Department who doubles as Chairman of the Committee that established the 5-year development plan, Dr. John-Eudes Ambivi Bakang who has been speaking on the comparative advantage in this venture for potential investors says investors will have peace of mind as they profit from working on large tract of fertile land to their advantage.
“Techiman campus has a very secured environment for any investor. Secondly, we have a large population of workforce comprising students who are ready for work and study so availability of labour on the farm is guarantee. The university campus itself is a ready-market for the produce in addition to the large agricultural that exists in Techiman”.
The university estimates a minimum of 20 thousand Ghana cedis annually to implement the 5-year development plan.