New Ayoma (O/R) Some 104 learners have graduated from the Fr Dogli Memorial Technical Institute at New Ayoma in the Oti Region after a 10-week competency-based training (CBT) in oil palm.
The training, organised by Solidaridad, an international civil society organisation, falls under the Sustainable West Africa Palm Oil Programme (SWAPP II).
It was in partnership with the Ghana Skills Development Initiative and Institute.
Accredited by the Council for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), it is the first of its kind in the region and seeks to build the skills of the youth for employment and entrepreneurship in the oil palm sector.
Mr Emmanuel Klutse, Solidaridad West Africa Representative on behalf of the Programme Manager (SWAPP II), said it was the first time a CBT in Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training (ATVET) in Ghana had been completed.
“To us in Solidaridad, this is not just because it is the first, but because it fills a critical human resource need required to bring about sector transformation.
“One that is responsive to emerging national, regional, and global needs; and one that helps us to improve the sustainability and productivity of oil palm to match global leaders like Malaysia and Indonesia.”
Mr Klutse said efficiency in supply chains could not be achieved if the actors in the sector were not business-minded or entrepreneurial and lacked the right skill set to capitalise on opportunities.
“The right investment must be made to create agri-entrepreneurs, those who are willing to adopt technologies; those who see and ‘smell’ opportunities within the supply chain in terms of value-addition businesses that support farm workers to develop entrepreneurial skills aside from their technical know-how.”
He said when skills gaps were identified in the oil palm sector, Solidaridad saw it as an opportunity to work with partners to harness collective skills, knowledge, and competencies for the benefit of youth learners to bring about the much-needed sector transformation.”
Mr Klutse urged the graduate to be worthy ambassadors and to encourage other youth to seek career opportunities within the sector.
Mr Klutse said Solidaridad would enable the learners to find jobs in the oil palm sector as workers or entrepreneurs and contribute to sustainable growth.
Madam Brigitte Dzakah Afi, Principal of the Institute, noted that the Institute was facing infrastructural challenges and called on the government to help provide structures to enhance teaching and learning.
The Principal said the school would also need modern equipment and tools to boost agriculture training.
Mr Kofi Adams, Member of Parliament for Buem Constituency, said the programme was critical to improving the economy of the country, adding that “oil palm is a game changer for the economy.”
He said the graduates required support such as acquisition of land and basic equipment to implement the skills acquired.
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Swiss Government, through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and the German Development Agency (GIZ) funded the training.
Fr Dogli Memorial Technical Institute, accredited by COTVET, runs the training to provide support in six modules.
The modules include; Nursery Establishment, Land Preparation and Plantation Establishment, Harvesting, Farm Management, Processing and Quality Assurance, and Agribusiness Management.
Source: Ghana News Agency