Africas agricultural system is faced with many challenges such lack of access to material and monetary resources, low investor confidence in agriculture and unfortunately wrong perceptions of youth about the farming enterprise as a whole.
However young men and women who are the future of nation have the energetic, creativity and innovation to drive the agriculture sector forward. To harness these youthful resources and solve the dual challenge of agricultural graduate unemployment and huge food import bills, YPARD Ghana partnered CIEDOM-HOG Ghana to launch an agricultural television reality show dubbed The Ultimate Farmer Reality Show that will challenge the status quo and generate the needed interest by young graduates in agriculture.
The Ultimate Farmer Reality Show seeks to use the entertainment medium of television reality show to display the interesting, exciting, and profitable side of agribusiness. The show simultaneously addresses the major Africa-wide problems of youth unemployment; lack of jobs for college graduates; hunger; the under-utilized capacity for increased agricultural output and; reduced dependence on food imports across the African continent.
Teams will be chosen from top applicants representing public and private universities, polytechnics, agricultural institutions, and experienced farmers to compete for the highest return on investment over a six month period. It is expected that the reality show will stir up interest in agriculture while serving as an entry point of youth involvement in the business of agriculture.
Preceding the launch was a town hall meeting organized by YPARD Ghana to discuss and expose young men and women to the numerous opportunities existing in the agricultural value chain that they can take advantage of. The composition of the panel includes representatives from Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), academia, financial institutions, the private sector, and traditional leaders to demystify the issues concerning land acquisition for agricultural purposes.
The open and frank discussion saw youth asking relevant questions with regards to an export of agricultural produce, agricultural education requesting for more practical oriented tuition, agricultural financing and land acquisition. YPARD agripreneurs also had the chance to exhibit their agricultural products and services for the general public.
Other partners of the Ultimate Farmer Reality Show include the University of Cape Coasts School of Agriculture, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), the International Association of Agriculture and Related Sciences (IAAS), the Project Management Institute (PMI) Ghana, the Ghana Chamber of Agribusiness (GCA), among others. There is great support from the various traditional leaders with many having released huge acres of land for the project.
The future of Africas agriculture is in the hands of the youth who represents the future, therefore strong support from relevant areas are needed for its development.