Dr Sharon Brown, the President of the Malku Institute of Technology says the Institute will set up a farmers’ training centre at Walewale in the North East Region to train young people on commercial agriculture to enhance food security.
The Institute is an international organisation with its headquarters in Florida, and was established in Ghana in July 2013 with the aim of equipping the youth with employable skills through innovation, research and technology.
Dr Brown, who disclosed the intention of the Institute in an interview with journalists at Walewale after a training workshop for farmers, said their first visit to Northern Ghana was in 2019 to train 200 young people in communities to regard Agriculture as a business.
“We have a programme in Uganda called the Household Economic Empowerment Project, and we are going to bring that to Northern Ghana. We came in January, did the initial training but then COVID came, schools were closed and we were not able to do that programme,” she said.
Dr Brown indicated that even though the programme did not start as planned, discussions went on to put appropriate measures in place to commence it.
“We realised that food insecurity was going to be a by-product of this pandemic and that we do have here in Northern Ghana large tracks of land that could be utilized to provide food not just for Ghana, but for the surrounding countries.
Dr Brown said the Institute would enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the West Mamprusi Municipal Assembly to acquire land and proceed to work on their final project plan, and also factor inputs of farmers at the workshop into their plan.
“Using what we have learnt today, we will have to change somethings. We have to include somethings we never thought of, then we will come back to the community and say this is what we have come up with, look at it, tell us what we need to do differently or what we need to do better.
“The aim is to empower them, so they must be involved at every stage, and they have been very helpful, very open, the Chiefs have been receptive, they have blessed us and for that we are very grateful,” she said.
Mr Samson Salifu Danse, the Acting Coordinator of the Malku Institute in Ghana, said the Institute intended to cultivate 5000 hectares with fonio, a cereal, rice and soya beans and create an eco-system where they would promote livestock production in the North East Region.
He said his outfit was in discussion with the Municipal Assembly to acquire the land at Kparigu, a community in the West Mamprusi Municipality for the project, adding that the workshop was part of preparations to kick start the project in the last quarter of 2021.
Madam Salma Abdulai, a Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Amaati Company Limited, who participated in the workshop, told journalists that the vision of the project resonated with the farming activities of the people in the area.
She said the involvement of stakeholders in the project would help create a strong objective for the people to own it and make it a success.
Some of the farmers expressed gratitude to the Malku Institute of Technology for the vision and initiative to set up the project in the Region, and pledged to offer their support.