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Regional News of Monday, 12 October 2015

Source: GNA

Yara Ghana seeks to develop agriculture students’ potentials

Managing Director of Yara Ghana, Sergio Godoy Managing Director of Yara Ghana, Sergio Godoy

Yara Ghana, the leading fertilizer producing company, has initiated a joint programme with academic and research institutions to engage undergraduate students studying agriculture develop their expertise by exposing them to the dynamics of the market.

The move forms part of the company’s commitment to remain a number one stakeholder in the agriculture industry by giving support to young people who play critical role in transforming the country’s largely subsistence agricultural sector into a more robust market economy.

Managing Director of Yara Ghana, Mr Sergio Godoy, said this in a statement to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, after the company’s maiden engagement with students studying agronomy at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in Kumasi,

The forum, which was sponsored by Yara Ghana and organized by the International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences (IAAS), was on the theme: “Unveiling the opportunities in agriculture for the Ghanaian undergraduate students.”

He noted the Company prioritized the needs of farmers, and for that reason seized the opportunity to strengthen its ability to effectively meet those needs.

He said the company has started working with various educational institutions to recruit students for internships and National Service.

This, he said, was aimed at introducing the students to a professional working environment where they would share knowledge and experience the important role team work, accountability and trust that help in strengthening every company.

Mr Godoy noted that for Yara to contribute profoundly to boost the country’s agriculture sector that consists about 95 percent of smallholder farmers meant that more resources were required.

He said the Company has more than 1,000 active retailers locally which implied that it has to make available all the needed expertise to be able to reach out to them and also tailor its services to satisfy farmers’ needs.

The volume of fertilizer use in the country has not so much improved, he said, but noted that awareness among farmers has significantly appreciated, attributing it to efforts of stakeholders, including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and USAID.

Notwithstanding, he said a lot more work has to be done to deepen the knowledge of farmers towards increased productivity, thus the Company’s desire to rope in more specialists.

The statement quoted the Vice Dean of Faculty of Agriculture at KNUST, Dr Francis Appiah as having debunked the assertion that the agriculture industry was dying, saying: “it is rather dying for those who lack creativity.”

He expressed the appreciation of the Faculty to collaborate with Yara, who are keen to assist in educating and developing the career path of the youth pursuing agriculture at the tertiary level of education. He entreated students to try to realign their thoughts to modern trends of the agricultural industry in order to identify and benefit from the copious opportunities in the industry.

Vice President of IAAS, Christian Oppong, was also quoted as saying that many people especially the youth were less informed about activities of the agriculture sector and its benefits.

He expressed appreciation that the forum would go a long way to demystify the sector, and appealed to government to put in place policies that would encourage banks to offer credit facilities to those who want to engage in the agricultural field.

Yara 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.

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