According to Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the average age of a farmer is 55. The capacity of rural young people to contribute to rural development and transformation remain largely untapped and their potential unrecognized. The potential costs of failing to provide opportunities for young people are enormous, in terms of forgone prospects for local agriculture development, rural youth employment and economic livelihood support.
Despite the fact that agricultural mentoring provides huge prospects for local agriculture development, there is no agricultural mentorship program for young people in rural-based senior high schools in Ghana despite the high rate of rural unemployment. Rural farmers are a great resource to leverage in encouraging young people into agriculture and mentoring is a proven approach to drive rich learning and development for both local farmers (mentors) and rural young people (mentees).
This relationship encourages information, experience sharing and skills development for both rural farmers and rural young people. It also fosters a relationship between rural farmers and rural young people for local agriculture development. Our AgroMentoring initiative seeks to match rural young people to rural farmers for the purpose of knowledge and information sharing, experiential learning and skills development for rural young people in agriculture.
The goals of AgroMentoring initiative are 1. Equip rural young people with agriculture entrepreneurial skills for economic livelihood. 2. Forster rural farmers–rural young people relationship for knowledge and information sharing. 3. Give young people hands-on experience in agriculture for experiential learning and skills development. 4. Create a group of rural farmers and rural young people for mutual support for local agriculture development. 5. Assist the group that is formed from this initiative with private-public partnerships and investment, extension services and training in agriculture value-chain management. These goals will increase the prospects of local agriculture production and value addition for economic livelihood support in our partner rural communities by more than 40 per cent.
Rural young people do not perceive agriculture as a remunerative and prestigious profession and until they find meaningful economic opportunities and attractive environments in rural areas, they will continue to migrate to cities for 'unexisting' jobs. This project will foster community cohesion and promote social and economic livelihood support for shared prosperity and local development in agriculture.
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