President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced plans by the government to upgrade the Kwadaso College of Agriculture in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, to an agricultural university.
He said the government was collaborating with the Mendel University of the Czech Republic to upgrade the status of the Agricultural College.
The President said this at the centenary celebration of the Kwadaso Agricultural College last Friday
With the Kwadaso College established in 1922 to help maintain the then Gold Coast’s enviable position of being the leading producer of cocoa in the world, the President noted that the College has since evolved into a centre of excellence, with increased capacity for training.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “the Kwadaso College of Agriculture can, to date, boast of having trained some one hundred thousand (100,000) young people as agricultural assistants who have since been absorbed by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Local Government Service, Ghana Cocoa Board, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, as well as the private sector over the years.”
Having produced a significant number of graduates, who have moved on to occupy leadership positions in industry, academia, civil society and entrepreneurship, he noted that “the record of the College in contributing to the human resource development of this country is testament to its strength”.
One hundred (100) years after the establishment of the College, the President stated that the time was ripe to reposition the institution to harness its full potential, and that was why the decision has been taken to upgrade the Kwadaso Agricultural College into an agricultural university, with collaborative support from the prestigious Mendel University of the Czech Republic.
“It is my understanding that the agricultural university will take care of the academic and professional development of our human resource for the agricultural sector. If successful, the plan will include establishing satellite campuses in Ejura and Wenchi Agricultural Colleges,” he said.
The President continued, “The reason why the establishment of this University, dedicated to agriculture, excites me very much is because we will produce the requisite numbers of human resource to support research, impart knowledge and provide leadership in the sector.”
Stressing on the need for the country to scale up consciously the number of middle level professionals who provided hands-on support in the sector, President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the fact that the Kwadaso College of Agriculture, and indeed other colleges, are already laying the foundation for developing such category of human resource, as some graduates of these institutions have begun benefitting from training in Government’s greenhouse internship programme in Ghana and Israel.
“The trainees at such centres are prepared for entrepreneurship by being equipped with academic knowledge and practical skills in greenhouse technology. Once established, the transformed agricultural university and other colleges will serve as incubators for the development of more agricultural professionals in the country,” he said.
The President, therefore, pledged the continous support of Government to make the upgrade of the College into a University a reality, and charged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to step-up efforts, and strengthen the partnership and collaboration with the Mendel University to realise this vision.
“The collaboration between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and Mendel University exemplifies the wisdom of collaborating to make our institutions very valuable to our developmental efforts. I am confident that this celebration will ignite that spirit of togetherness and make this a reality,” he added.