The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), has commenced an orientation programme for the first batch of 20 beneficiaries selected to undergo six months of training under the Youth in Export Programme (YiEP).
Addressing the media, the CEO of GEPA, Afua Asabea Asare, said the programme, which is a collaboration between GEPA and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), seeks to attract Ghanaian youth into farming and export of agricultural products.
She said the implementation of YiEP is a timely intervention as the agriculture sector provides the youth with employment opportunities and a sustainable livelihood, whiles offering them the platform to contribute to the supply base of Ghana’s agricultural produce to increase export earnings and ultimately enhance economic growth.
She stated that, Ghana’s agricultural products contributed 21.01% to the sector, which is second highest to the country’s total export earnings in 2018.
“In that same year, Ghana’s agric sector in total recorded the highest growth rate of 34.04% over 2017 export earnings.”
“We are extremely grateful to our experienced farmers and exporters who are committed to provide mentorship to the trainees regarding the production of selected fruits and vegetables for a 6-month period to assist the trainees to acquire the knowledge and skills for the cultivation and export of agricultural produce as well as establish and manage their own businesses.”
She said GEPA in partnership with the Association of Ghana Industries and Lab Innova from the Italian Trade Agency, has also rolled out the first phase of online sessions providing for beginners in agribusiness on how to access new markets in the European Union.
The Director of Research at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Agya Yaw Nsiah, said investing in self-sustaining programmes to provide young people with life long skills will also help in tackling the high unemployment rate in the country.
He said YEA will continue to assist in training and stakeholder engagements as well as mentoring of young farmers to ensure that they are able to grow their businesses to contribute to Ghana’s export earnings.
Youth In Export Competition
In the last quarter of 2019, GEPA launched the Youth in Export Competition to inspire the youth to venture into exports and consequently increase Ghana’s non-traditional export base.
Successful applicants were selected based on their possession of a minimum of SSCE Certificate, aged between 18 – 35 years, having an obvious passion for farming and residing in close proximity to districts and towns where the first phase of the programme would be implemented.
Upon successful completion of the training programme, trainees will be supported by GEPA to acquire an acre of land each and supplied with seeds and required inputs to cultivate under the supervision of their respective trainers and start up their businesses.