20 young entrepreneurs selected as part of the government’s Youth in Export Programme (YiEP) have received agricultural inputs from the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) after undergoing 6 months of training under the programme.
Under the programme, 8 of the trainees were assigned to mentors who trained them in the production of pineapple, while 11 were trained in the production of vegetables and one in the production of papaya. Trainees were supplied with seeds and suckers, fertilizers, agro-chemicals, irrigation facilities and other inputs.
CEO of GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said the mentors gave each of the beneficiaries practical on-field training in the production of pineapple, papaya, and vegetables (chili, okra and aubergine) with focus on the export market.
“As part of the assistance that GEPA is offering these proud pioneers of the YiEP, they have already been provided funds to lease and prepare an acre of land each ready to start their Agri-business journey,” she said.
She disclosed that all mentor were committed to off-take all their “first fruits” and all their subsequent harvests until they were ready to start their own export operations
Dr. Asabea Asare assured stakeholders of GEPA’s commitment to supporting more young people through initiative, adding that YiEP is a timely intervention as the agriculture sector provides the youth with employment opportunities and a sustainable livelihood while offering them the platform to contribute to the supply base of Ghana’s agricultural produce to increase export earnings and ultimately enhance economic growth.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, presenting the inputs, advised the beneficiaries to use the opportunity as a stepping stone to develop themselves.
He added that under the government’s National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), the Youth in Export plan will boost of partnerships with the Ministry of Business Development to promote export business culture among the youth.
The goal of the National Export Development Strategy is to accelerate the production of NTEs to achieve a substantial increase in manufactured goods and services components of the nation’s exports with a projected aggregate revenue target of at least 25 billion USD by the year 2030.
Other interventions include the implementation of programmes to link young people with opportunities for entrepreneurial skills training in the export business through initiatives such as the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) and MASLOC.