The Executive Director of Goshen Global Vision, Madam Mary Perpetual Kwakuyi, has impressed upon students in second-cycle schools to get involved in the “one student one coconut, one tree planting,” exercise as a viable avenue for employment opportunities after school.
She said current trends put the coconut tree as the second cash crop after cocoa.
Madam Kwakuyi said this when she led a coconut seedling planting exercise at the Sekondi College near Essipong in Sekondi.
She said the Goshen Global Vision had so far led students at the Daboase Senior High Technical School to plant 800 coconut seedlings and had intensified the planting exercise at the Shama Senior High, Fijai Senior High School and Takoradi Senior High School (TADISCO) in the Western Region.
She said research had shown that a lot of people did not get the nutritious value derived from coconut fruit, adding that as the coconut trees begin fruiting, students would enjoy coconut fruits after their meals.
Madam Kwakuyi said GGV was all out to develop students into Agri-preneurs (entrepreneurs) to be self-employed after school.
She said GGV also intended to assist students in the value chain and by-products derived from coconut fruits.
A Research Scientist at the Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Sekondi, Dr Yayra Affram, said coconut had now reached a global stage making Ghana the leading producer in Africa and 12th in the whole world.
He said coconut production would overtake cocoa in the next decade and that the benefits of coconut were enormous as the fruit could be sold any time fresh or dried.
Dr Affram added that coconut had no weather restriction unlike cocoa which required sunshine to dry all the time.
“The nutritional value of coconut is high as it contains a lot of minerals good for human development.”
Dr Affram said with no job security in Ghana, GGV has decided to introduce students to coconut farming as a lucrative business and an important marketing avenue upon completion of school as a backup in case of unemployment.
A Technical Expert at the Department of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in Sekondi, Mr Abraham Appiah said the Department was ready to partner GGV to provide the technical expertise from planting to harvesting as regards good Agronomic practices to ensure proper growth of the coconut trees.
Mrs Guddy A. Ampomah Kermah, th Headmistress of the Sekondi College, said it was an honour and privilege for the school to benefit from the coconut business.
She lauded sterling efforts by GGV to have embarked upon rabbit rearing which was helping the animal production of the school.
Mrs Kermah said the school would take advantage of the exercise to plant more coconut fruits and trees.