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SPECIAL ATTENTION FOR AGRIC STUDENTS
According to the Ghana Statistical Service, about 7,000 pupils are enrolled yearly in basic schools after which only 350,000 are able to progress to the secondary level. Out of this, 65,000 are able to gain admission to pursue higher education with 60,000 being able to graduate. Of those who graduate from universities, only 10% are employed within the first year after graduation.
The high poverty and unemployment levels have resulted in increased migration rate. The rural poor embark on journeys to the capital towns in search of greener pastures which never exist. They end up in gangs and become social deviants. Others who fail to realize these green pastures end up as illegal migrants in Europe and other parts of the world still searching for greener pastures.
Agriculture is the most viable area that could employ the majority of the unemployed youth in Ghana. Even though Agriculture is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy, and cocoa remains the leading cash crop, it is regrettable to say that the average age of a cocoa farmer in Ghana is 55 years. The youth do not find agriculture attractive. Ghana is fortunate to have good soil all over that have the capacity to grow all kinds of crops. On the contrary, however, young people are not interested in Agriculture. The various public universities admit that enrolment of students into Agric Colleges is dwindling since they are not pursuing the course at the Senior High level and this could be a worrying trend.
Research has established that only 10% of university graduates produced yearly are employed within the first year after school. Agriculture is the best way to rectify this unemployment gap. In this light, the scholarship fund proposed will also target students who are interested in studying Agricultural Science.
We have adopted a system where Agric students benefit from our scholarship scheme.
Each student will raise beds for the cultivation of a preferred crop and they will receive technical support from Agric teachers, Ministry of Agriculture, CSIR and other stakeholders. This is our attempt to give practical meaning to Agriculture.