Managing Director of Yara Ghana, Sergio Godoy, addressing participants at the forum (1)
Managing Director of Yara Ghana, Sergio Godoy, addressing participants at the forum (1)

This is in light of the critical role young people play in the attempts to transform the country?s largely subsistence agricultural sector to a more robust market economy has been underscored in Yara Ghana?s endeavor to develop and work together with academic and research institutions to enhance the sector.

Managing Director of Yara Ghana, Sergio Godoy, addressing participants at the forum (1)
Managing Director of Yara Ghana, Sergio Godoy, addressing participants at the forum (1)

Yara, the leading fertilizer producing company, has initiated a programme which seeks to help to realize its commitment to remain as a key stakeholder in the agric industry by engaging students in the study of agriculture, to help develop their expertise while also exposing them to the dynamics of its market.

He said the company has started working with various educational institutions to recruits students for internships and annual National Service programs. This he said, is aimed at introducing the students to a professional working environment, share knowledge and also for them to experience the important role team work, accountability and trust helps in strengthening a company.

Mr. Godoy said, the local agric sector is about 95 percent made up of smallholder farmers, and for Yara to be able to contribute to improve the sector, requires that more resources are committed to the process.

He said the Company has more than thousand active retailers locally and this means it has to make available all the needed expertise to be able to reach out to them and more particularly tailor its services to needs of farmers.
Sergio Godoy, who said these in an interview with the media at the backdrop of Yara?s maiden engagement with students studying agronomy, at the Faculty of Agriculture of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in Kumasi, said the volume of fertilizer use in the country has not so much improved.

But he acknowledged that the awareness of farmers has greatly appreciated, and attributed it to the work of the various stakeholders including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), USAID, Yara among others.
Despite this he said a lot more work has to be done to deepen the knowledge of farmers, thus his Company?s desire to rope in more specialists in this area to add more value to increase productivity.

Yara at moment is operates in over 50 countries worldwide, including Ghana and some other African countries, and offer services to some 15 million farmers estimated to be producing about 240 million tons of grains to feed more than 150 countries.

In 2014 the Company sold about 33 million tons of products and solutions to countries in more than six continents in the world.

The forum at the KNUST which was sponsored by Yara Ghana and organized by the International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences (IAAS) was held under the theme ?Unveiling the opportunities in agriculture for the Ghanaian undergraduate students.?

The Vice Dean for the Faculty of Agriculture, KNUST, Dr. Francis Appiah, addressing the students at the gathering debunked the assertion that the agriculture industry is a dying.

He said that ?it is rather dying for those who lack creativity,? and therefore expressed the appreciation of the Faculty to collaborate with organizations like Yara, who are keen to assist in educating and developing the career path for youth pursuing agriculture at the tertiary stage.

He entreated students to endeavor to realign their thoughts to modern trends of the agricultural industry to be able to identify and benefit from the copious opportunities which exist out there, in the industry.
Vice President of IAAS, Christian Oppong, said many people especially the youth are less informed about the agric sector and the benefits that exist for them.

He was therefore appreciative that such forum would be able to demystify the mindset of the youth to embrace the sector.

He appealed to government to put in place policies that would encourage banks and credit facilities to ease the accessibility of credit for agricultural purposes.

By : Prosper Agbenyega

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