Empowering Ghana’s Youth: Cultivating A Brighter Future

By Ernestina Esinam Glikpo, Communications Manager, Self-Help International

Self-Help International’s Agriculture and Entrepreneurship Development (AED) program trains farmers on improved agronomic practices and post-harvest management. Farmers are trained on how to source high yielding and drought tolerant seeds, fertilizers, herbicides and storage bags from appropriate sources. They are also trained on row planting, fertilizer application, harvesting, drying and storage using Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags. This has resulted in increased yield and profits among Self-Help clients.

Self-Help, through the AED program has observed that the farmer population in Ghana is aging and therefore the need to make farming more attractive to the youth. The average age of Ghanaian farmers hovers around 55, with a life expectancy ranging between 55 and 65 years. Amidst this demographic reality, the imperative to engage younger generations in agriculture has never been more urgent. However, the youth often shy away from farming due to reasons such as land scarcity, labor-intensive work, and post-harvest challenges.

Self-Help International through its Youth in Agriculture program which is a subsidiary of the AED program introduces students to modern agricultural practices, nurturing their love and passion for the field. These students from basic schools in rural Ghana are equipped with skills and knowledge, enabling them to establish agricultural enterprises and create income generating opportunities. Simultaneously, it fosters interest in agriculture and enhances their life skills.

By participating in this program, youth not only gain a foothold in education but also embrace agriculture as a noble profession. Nkwakrom Municipal Assembly Primary School and other schools with agriculture clubs make turns to visit the Self-Help International Agricultural Training Center, where these students are taught good agronomic practices. Agriculture officers also address the challenges in agriculture ventures and demonstrate that farming is not the last resort, but rather a viable business venture.

We challenge prevailing mindsets that view farming as punishment, reframing it as an opportunity for growth and the backbone of thriving rural economies. Together, Ghana’s youth can lead the charge toward a sustainable and prosperous future, transforming the soil they till into fertile ground for success.

Yusif, Self-Help International’s Agricultural Officer, teaches youth about agriculture.