Students of Osudoku Senior High Technical at Esutuary in the Greater Accra Region, were last Thursday July 11 charged and encouraged to develop interest and take to the field of agriculture or agri-business at a tender age.
The challenge was thrown to the students by the 2012 National Best Farmer, Mr. Lemuel Quarshie Martey, at the launch of maiden youth club in the school by the Young Farmer’s League (YFL) Co-Operative Society.
The League, which is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), primarily delving into agricultural business, according to its officials is aimed at encouraging the youth and exposing them, particularly students to the benefits and advantages that goes with agri-business.
Addressing a gathering of student at the school’s assembly hall, the 2012 National Best Farmer told the students to ignore the culture where Ghanaians denigrate and stigmatize farmers as being poor, and focus their minds on the benefits in the agriculture sector.
He said, anytime the name “farmer” is mentioned, people consider it humiliating and use it to tease, and this is preventing the youth from engaging or moving into the practice.
According to Mr. Lemuel Quarshie, farming these days has gone beyond domestic farming for consumption. He said farming in general is now a broad business on itself, where heavy equipments and machineries are used.
He advised the youths to eschew pride and not listen to what people say, but focus on the outcome in future. Mr. Lemuel Quarshie proudly stated and challenged the students to break his record having won the National Best Farmer award as the youngest ever in Ghana at the age of 32.
The National Best Farmer recalled how he left Nestle Company having worked tirelessly like slave, does overtime and closed late in the night like 10pm but receives paltry pay as salary.
He said, “When I was leaving Nestle to start my farming business, management had suggested psychologists should check my brain to ascertain if I was ok then”.
He added that he told, “ management should allow me go and as a young man at the time, took the bold step to face the humiliation and stigmatization, this has bold step is what has made me who I am today”.
President of the Farmer’s League, Mr. Jacob Adzikah on his part said, the youth must “open their second eyes” and see the agric sector in order to achieve great things.
He said nowadays white-color job is inadequate in the system, hence should pay serious attention to practical business opportunities available.
The Assistance Headmaster of Administration for the school, Mr. Joseph Yogah Adovor told The Herald in an interview that although the school is an agric institution, perception of students towards the course and stigmatization by other colleagues put the students off pursuing the Agric course after offering them admission.
Mr. J Yogah noted that the school has vast acre of land, which he appealed to government and benevolent organizations to come to the aid of the school, through the establishment of research centres and other aspects of agriculture to help student to develop the interest in the sector.
He thanks the initiators and organizer of the club in the school and pledged them to do more for the school to compete with other prominent second cycle institutions.
The ceremony was graced by Mr. Jeremiah Coleman – Director of Department of Co-Operative, Mr, Yamuah GH, Mr. Fianu Koblah, – Head of Agric Department at the school who doubled as the patron of the club, among other dignitaries.