Farmers in rural areas are associated with inadequate technical knowledge on good agricultural production and post-harvest techniques that lead a cycle of poverty.
In addition to these, they lack access to sufficient veterinary services for their livestock. This results in economic losses due to disease and pest infestations.
To bridge the knowledge gap in these rural areas and strengthen rural knowledge network, the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) Ghana have instituted YPARD Agri-Clinic. The objectives of the initiative include: bridging the technological knowledge gap in rural areas of Ghana with young agricultural experts and agripreneurs from the YPARD community and creating an adequate network for marketing products of young rural farmers.
The maiden Agri-Clinic took place on Saturday, 21st September, 2019 at Aworoeso a rural community in the Ayensuano District of the Eastern region. YPARD members volunteered their time, resources and expertise to provide needed technical know-how in agriculture and agribusiness to members of the Aworoeso community.
Below is a profile of the young experts and agriprenuers who volunteered their services.
Gideon Padi Konotey: Gideon is the CEO of Goats Master Ltd, an agribusiness firm which focuses on value addition to goat. This business pays special attention to the value chain considering rearing, butchering, processing, packaging, marketing and distribution of livestock into various consumables with the ultimate objective to establish the largest livestock market in Africa. During the Agri-Clinic, Gideon advised farmers on ways to keep healthy livestock to serve as a source of income.
Emmanuel Ansah-Amprofi: Emmanuel is the cofounder of Trotro Tractor Ltd a mechanization Agtech company with the aim of creating a platform for smallholder farmers to get easy access to mechanization services. He provided farmers with the knowledge on good land preparation and crop selection for cultivation to obtain optimum yield.
Delali Atitsugbui: Delali is the producer of Delxbar, a delicious snack processed from groundnut and maize which is locally called Dzowoe or Dakoa. She trains and supports women farmers to produce maize and groundnuts for processing. She educated farmers who attended the Agri-Clinic on aflactoxin prevention in maize and other produce.
George Asomdwoe Asare: George manages Joanado Farms, a producer of catfish fingerlings and grow-out. Joanado also produces snails and constructs convertible mobile tanks for aquaculture. He educated participants of the Agri-Clinic on alternate income generation activities through snail farming to help supplement their incomes.
Michael Sakyi: Michael trained farmers of Aworoeso on beekeeping as alternate income generation activity and its importance to protect the natural pollinators in the ecosystem. He is the CEO of SM Golden Bees an agribusiness venture with a core business to produce organic honey and honey related products on a commercial scale to customers and train beekeepers on modern techniques of organic farming.
Kafui Agbe: Kafui is an agricultural advisory service provider and training facilitator with several years of experience in rural development and youth engagement. He provided basic knowledge for farmers in the community on how to effectively organize themselves into groups to take advantage of strength that exists in effective groups.
The success of the maiden edition of the Agri-Clinic was made possible by the Ayensuano District Director of Agriculture, Mr. Kofi Boye who volunteered his time to organize the community to ensure that the concept of Agri-Clinic became a practice. The ultimate outcome of the Agri-Clinic is to establish the YPARD Rural Youth Network to foster the exchange of knowledge, capacity building of youth in rural areas and young agricultural experts and agripreneurs to enhance agricultural productivity.