The John A. Kufour Foundation (JAKF) has launched the maiden edition of the Youth in Agribusiness festival to establish the Youth in Agribusiness Information hub in Ghana.

The festival, which will be celebrated on the theme: “Youth in Agribusiness in Ghana: the story so far and the way forward” in July 2022, at the Jubilee Park and the Prempeh Assembly Hall in Kumasi, will be one-stop-shop where all the necessary information needed for the development and sustainability of agribusiness could be accessed by the young individuals in Ghana.

 “The festival is designed to showcase the outstanding development of young people within the agribusiness sector. It seeks to celebrate distinguished young agribusiness practitioners by providing the platform for them to share their success stories.

Youth in Agribusiness Festival launched

It is therefore important to provide the platform to share the experiences, learn lessons, and network along the value chain which will serve as an inspiration to generate interest for both employed and unemployed youths, more especially for those who do not see agribusiness as an attractive business venture will be exposed to the achievement of youth in Agribusiness” The Chief Executive Officer of JAK Foundation Prof. Baffour Agyemang Duah said.

He explained that a month before the main festival, there will be a pre-engagement on agribusiness educational programmes for students from selected universities such as the University of Development Studies, University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, University of Winneba, Kumasi Technical University, some agriculture colleges, and selected youth groups.

“The festival is to provide facilities for young entrepreneurs in the agric sector to network and also share their results with the public.

The initiative was born out of former President John Kufuor’s own personal commitment to improving agriculture and agri-related businesses in the country, particularly those that are led by young people” he added.

The Convener of the Youth in Agribusiness Festival, Mr. Jeffrey Agyemang-Duah, said the festival is envisaged to bring together major stakeholders in agribusiness on one platform to share their experiences, and lessons learnt, and to network along the agricultural value chain.

He added that the festival will serve as an inspiration to generate interest in agribusiness for both employed and unemployed youth, stressing that “those who do not find agribusiness as an attractive business venture will be exposed to the achievements of the youth in agribusiness and will therefore have evidence of the prospects and the life-changing experiences in agribusiness.”

Mr. Duah further explained that the festival was inspired by the need to motivate the youth to accept agriculture and its related activities as a commercial business venture.

 The Youth in Agribusiness Festival is targeting people aged between 18 to 35 who are involved in farming, technology service provision, agri-input dealership, Agri advisory and financial service provision, processing and value addition, packaging, branding, digital or online marketing, transportation and distribution, and agri-tourism, among others” he explained.

“By getting more young people into agribusiness through this festival, we believe, it will contribute to the reduction of youth unemployment in Ghana which, unfortunately, shot from 8.72 percent in 2019 to 9.46 percent in 2020 according to the International Labor Organization.

We hope to create linkages and networking space among young agribusiness entrepreneurs with industry leaders and investors; an electronic form has been designed for organisations and individuals who wish to exhibit their products and services to visit the John A. Kufuor Foundation’s website for more details” he added.

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme Ghana, Mr. Kofi Ofosu Nkansah stated that they are excited to be a part of the festival.

“As a government programme responsible for the youth enterprise, we are to support the youth enterprises like the agribusiness, therefore, we see this festival as a good platform for partnership in the attainment of the programme objectives,” he said.

The Head of the Agri-Biz programme, GIZ, Dr Elke Stumpf in a brief remark said GIZ has not relented on its efforts in the job creation process, adding that GIZ has been working to promote job creation, particularly for the youth and women.

“Trading is an important and crucial aspect of any business or entrepreneurs for reaching international markets” she added.

The Chief Executive Officer, Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, Mr. Anthony Morrison, launching the festival explained that Agriculture in Ghana requires restructuring to give the youth the opportunities to contribute to food security and good health.

“I strongly believe that Ghana has what it takes both comparatively and competitively to change the agriculture transformation, and as stakeholders, we should all contribute to this transformation” he added.

The Head of Marketing and Communication at Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Mr. Solomon Adu Atefoe explained that ADB is associated with youth in agribusiness festivals.

“We are happy to partner with the John Agyekum Kufour Foundation for this project and hope to see a successful end” he added.

Present at the launch were the Ghana Investment Promotion, National Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Programme, National Youth Authority, GIZ-Agribiz Project, Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, Oak Foundation, Kent Investment, Ghana Agriculture & Rural Development Journalist Association, and Agribusiness Student Association of Ghana.