The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has expressed his delight at the rehabilitation of the Ejura College of Agriculture, 56 years after its establishment in 1963.
At the ceremony to commission the newly rehabilitated College, on Thursday, 10th October, 2019, on day 2 of his 3-day tour of the Ashanti Region, President Akufo-Addo noted that the institution was mandated to train young Ghanaians to provide advisory and technical services in crop and animal production, agricultural mechanization and engineering.
However, over the years, and due to limited capacity, poor infrastructure, and a poor maintenance culture, the college has not been able to deliver the expected quality training.
The expansion and modernization of the facilities of the college, the President said, will ensure the delivery of quality practical and vocational training in the certificated programmes of the College.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the upgraded infrastructure comprises the rehabilitation and re-tooled mechanization workshop; refurbished ICT library, equipped with computers and accessories; a fully equipped new science laboratory, and five rehabilitated demonstration workshops to house poultry and piggery production units.
Additionally, a 30-Seater bus is being procured for the college to facilitate students’ visits to private enterprises and inter-college knowledge sharing.
Government’s commitment and support to the agricultural sector, President Akufo-Addo assured, is a comprehensive approach that takes care of infrastructural development, agri-financing, mechanization and, more importantly, human resource development.
He told the gathering that the creation of a buoyant agricultural sector has been at the heart of his government’s transformation agenda, because agriculture continues to be the anchor of the country’s economy.
The work that has been undertaken, since I assumed office in 2017, in boosting agriculture, he stressed, speaks for itself.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that through Government’s flagship programme for the revival of Ghanaian agriculture, dubbed “Planting for Food and Jobs”, support has been provided to some 1 million smallholder farmers, who produced, last year, a bumper harvest.
For the first time in a very long while, the President told the gathering that Ghana exported food to her neighbouring countries, and has also signalled her intention to reduce rice imports by at least 50 percent this year.
Government, according to President Akufo-Addo, is determined to bring greater efficiency to agricultural value chains, and, thereby, lift agriculture onto a much higher pedestal.
This, he explained further, is one of the best ways the living standards of the Ghanaian people can be improved, and the country put onto the path of progress and prosperity.
President Akufo-Addo, immediately after the College of Agriculture event, also commissioned a warehouse in Ejura, as part of the 1-District-1-Warehouse initiative.
It will be recalled that on 18th October, 2017, the President cut the sod to mark the beginning of the implementation of the 1-District-1-Warehouse initiative.
The purpose of these warehouses, according to President Akufo-Addo, would be to handle produce, as well as to store the surpluses under the “Planting for Food and Jobs” campaign.
The President reinforced the commitment of his government to accelerate the construction of the warehouses, and will ensure that each of them is fitted with modern equipment, including drying or freezing systems.
“These warehouses will also be certified to enable them participate in the Warehouse Receipting System, being implemented under Ghana Commodities Exchange project. This system will promote financial inclusion of our smallholder farmers. The farmers will be able to deposit their farm produces in these warehouses, and use them to address their financial needs in various ways under the Warehouse Receipt System,” he added.