The Ministry of Finance has released GH¢2 million to the Scholarship Secretariat as scholarship package for the children and wards of the 2018 National Best Farmers Award winners, to study programmes at the tertiary institutions, ranging from first degree to PhD.
This follows the promise made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the 34th National Farmers Day in Tamale, in 2018, for children and wards of the winners, to study agricultural subjects of their choice.
This came to light at a meeting involving 24 award winners, the Scholarship Secretariat and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), held here on Friday.
The meeting aimed at drawing programmes on how the scholarship would benefit the farmers, their workers, dependants as well as community members, and identifying the areas of interest of the farmers.
Mr Kingsley Agyemang, the Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat, said farmers needed to be more knowledgeable about their activities, to enhance productivity using the best practices in the agricultural value chain, hence the government’s decision to offer the scholarships.
He said the move was a further testimony of the government’s commitment to making agriculture a business and a lucrative venture for Ghanaians.
Chief Director of the MOFA, Robert Patrick Ankobiah, said building farmers’ capacity was crucial because of the new vision of the current administration to modernise agriculture to catalyse Ghana’s economy.
He indicated that the scholarships for the farmers in the areas they preferred would ensure that government achieved its goal of enhancing agriculture and enticing the youth into the sector.
The 2018 overall best farmer, James Obeng, commended the government, saying “it is only a naïve person, who will not understand the importance of education, the fact that farm management is a serious educational issue.”
Madam Charity Akortia, the 2018 first runner up, said the scholarship scheme would open many avenues for workers or dependents to be more interested in farming, to boost productivity.
Similarly, Mr Gustav Annor Owiredu, 2018 National Best Youth Farmer, indicated that because farming was being modernised “we need such scholarships to train workers and community members, to take up farming as serious business, as most people now seem to shun the sector”.
FROM KINGSLEY E. HOPE, KUMASI