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17.02.2009 General News

Students urged to support agriculture sector after school

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Agricultural science students of the country's universities have been urged to provide manpower resource needed to move the agricultural sector forward, after complexion of their courses.

This is because Ghana requires good leadership in the agricultural sector to ensure food security and reduction of poverty in the rural areas.

Professor Kwasi Kwarfo Adarkwa, Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), made the call at this year's scholarship award ceremony by the Finatrade Foundation for 20 agricultural science students from four public universities in the country, in Kumasi.

The scholarship is awarded to brilliant but needy agricultural science students from the KNUST, University of Ghana, University of Cape coast and the University for Development Studies (UDS) each year, to enable beneficiaries to pursue academic programmes at the undergraduate level.

Each of the 20 beneficiaries would receive 600 Ghana Cedis annually till they complete their programmes and also be offered a place in companies forming the Foundation to enable them to undertake internship.

Prof. Adarkwa praised the Finatrade Group of Companies for initiating the package to assist needy students.

Miss Joyce Aryee, Chairperson of the Finatrade Foundation, said about 106 students had so far benefited from the award scheme since its inception in 2003/2004 academic year.

She said the scheme was to motivate and train students to enable them to support the country's agricultural sector and to defuse the perception that agriculture science was pursued by those who failed their final examinations.

Miss Aryee announced that the Foundation was collaborating with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSRI) to find ways of solving agricultural and industrial related problems facing the country.

She said the Foundation was also supporting Information Communication Technology (ICT) education and training in the country adding that it was prepared to assist any community which was prepared to establish a computer library for its children.

Professor Robert Abaidoo, Provost of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of KNUST, expressed regret at the dwindling interest in the study of agriculture science in the country's universities and said the scholarship scheme would help engender prospective students to enroll in the agricultural faculties.