Accra, Nov. 30, GNA - The University of Ghana is to establish an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit at the College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences to sensitise and prepare graduates of the College to enter into the agricultural industry.
Prof. Cliff Tagoe, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University, said it was expected that when graduates became practitioners of agriculture, they would adopt small-scale farmers as out-growers and thereby transfer new technological interventions to them.
Prof. Tagoe announced the plan on Tuesday during a reception organised by Akuafo Hall of the University to honour this year's selected national best farmers and fishermen, ahead of the National Farmers' Day on Friday, December 2, 2005 at Navrongo in the Upper East Region.
He said it was the wish of the University to encourage graduates of agriculture to enter into the agricultural industry as a means of livelihood.
The Acting Vice Chancellor said the College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences aimed to establish strong collaboration with industrious farmers, identify and appoint experienced farmers and fishermen to share their rich experience with both the Faculty and Students.
Also the University intends to promote internship of students to the agriculture industry during their holidays for practical field experience, as a way of identifying critical needs of the industry and orient them to address them.
He commended the award-winning farmers and fishermen for braving the odds to provide food, saying they needed all the encouragement and resources to sustain their achievements. As a gesture of further honours, the Hall unveiled a plaque on which is written the names of the overall National Best Farmers since it was instituted in 1985.
Mr Ernest Debrah, Minister of Food and Agriculture, said Government's vision for the country to achieve middle-income status was agriculture based.
Government was, therefore, working to overcome problems of improved seeds, food quality, storage and packaging as well as improving land ports for improved transportation.
Mr Philip Ayori, Spokesman for the National Best Farmers' Association, said the Association would soon unveil a plan on what they would do in the interest of the development of the nation's agriculture. As part of the pre-grand celebration, the distinguished farmers visited the Akosombo Port and went on a cruise of the Volta Lake. Last Monday, they visited the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and the Cocoa Processing Company, both in Tema.