WFP Ghana takes youth by storm at second in series of Youth Link-Up against Hunger Series
11 July 2023
The Youth Link-Up against Hunger event seeks to encourage young people to venture into entrepreneurships and employment along the agriculture value chain.
About 200 young people gathered at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Impact Building conference room for over four hours on Saturday, 8 July 2023. They came to network and explore opportunities in the agriculture value chain. Others also came to gain better insight into the agriculture sector to improve their activities as well as find solutions to the challenges they face along the value chain.
The World Food Programme (WFP) in Ghana organized the Youth Link-Up against Hunger Series, a workshop style event to encourage young people to venture into entrepreneurships and employment along the agriculture value chain, from farming and production, to agro-processing and marketing. The Youth Link-Up against Hunger Series falls within the framework of WFP strategic objective of ensuring food security in the country and supporting Ghana to accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal 2.
It is estimated that about 1.5 million Ghanaians, representing 4.5 percent of the population are food insecure. With a population projected to exceed 50 million by 2050, nearly half being youth, tapping into the potential of young people in agriculture can bring enormous benefits, including increased food production, rural development, employment generation, entrepreneurship, sustainable practices, knowledge transfer and social empowerment.
Facilitated by one of Ghana’s finest young female farmers and an agricultural journalist and YouTuber, Enyonam Manye, the panel of four young Ghanaians, all of whom are working in the agricultural value chain, thrilled their audience, mostly students of KNUST, with insightful discussions about their journey into agriculture, the vast opportunities in the space, pertinent issues hampering youth inclusion, and insights into how agriculture can be made enticing and attractive for young people.
Ophelia Asare, Agriculture Economic Student; Theodore Ohene-Botchway, co-founder SayeTech Company Limited; Samuel Abroquah, an Agripreneur; and Maame Yaa Kame-Ofori, Quality Assurance Officer, Yedent Agro-processor told the students to be self-motivated and strive to occupy spaces to fill the enormous gaps in the sector.
“Passion alone cannot drive your business. You need to set a goal and apply discipline to drive your vision” Samuel Abroquah told the audience in response to a question on how he was able to make it in the sector.
Another advice came from Maame Yaa Kame-Ofori when she explained the question of how to maintain quality standards given the huge financial commitment required. “Quality is not cheap! Quality is expensive. But with quality, you increase your bargaining power, which will eventually pay off” she noted.
The extremely interactive event lasted several hours and was acknowledged by the students as one of the best platforms from which they have learnt a lot on agricultural value chain. Henrietta Kweinorki Tawia,a21-year-old second-year student of KNUST studying biomedical engineering said the session has helped her to gain better understanding of the sector and how to network to “help me in my journey to becoming a farmer and an agricultural advocate”.
For 25-year-old Regan Acheampong, a Teaching and Research Assistant of the Department of Sociology and Social Work at KNUST, the session has opened his eyes to see what his father, a vegetable farmer could do to increase his yields from his 2-acre farm. “I learnt about good farming methods and the right approach of using chemicals to increase yields” he noted.
With his Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, Regan is interested in advancing advocacy to help farmers gain access to resources, as well as refute the negative perception of farming as unprofitable.
Closing the session, the Programme Policy Officer in charge of Gender and Youth Inclusion at the WFP Ghana Office, Ms. Tani Aduko Bukari noted that the outcome of the Youth Link-Up against Hunger Series will inform WFP programming. She said by investing in the next generation of farmers, the UN can help Ghana create a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector capable of meeting future challenges.