Yara Ghana, leading mineral fertilizer manufacturer and distributor, is initiating a scheme to promote the business of agriculture among young people.
The ‘Farming Academy’ has the aim of driving students from the primary through to the senior high school level to learn best practices in crop production whilst appreciating opportunities in the agricultural sector.
“Yara is all about knowledge; we don’t believe we just sell fertilizer, but we bring the knowledge that comes with it”, said Mehdi Saint-André, Managing Director of Yara Ghana.
According to him, the Academy will discourage the perception that farming is a punishment and rather inculcate in students the knowledge and skills in land preparation, seed selection and fertilizer application as well as post harvest activities and storage.
The pilot project would be undertaken with inmates of the Royal Seed Home at Odupong Ofaankor, Kasoa, where the company has established a 15-acre maize farm to support the orphanage.
“Hopefully for the next farming season in March/April 2013, we’ll be ready and we’ll go on the farm with a group of children but it should be incorporated in the school curricula; if they have some topics which is about farming or agriculture, then they can go on the field with us to learn”, stated Saint-André.
He reiterated that Yara Ghana’s corporate social responsibility projects are fully integrated into its business with an objective to develop the productivity of the Ghanaian farmer.
He cited the ‘Yara Crop Clinic’ for product retailers and the Masara N’Arziki “Maize for Prosperity” projects as thriving CSR schemes to help increase knowledge and incomes among local farmers.
Meanwhile, Yara Ghana has commissioned a Gh₵20,000 potable water facility to meet the needs of the 145 inmates of the Royal Seed Home.
Founder of the Home, Mrs. Naomi Esi Amoah is excited at the gesture and appealed to other benevolent individuals and institutions to support in “caring for the children who need to be trained as future leaders with good vision”.