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Over 11,000 Youth Gained Training In Cocoa Farming   
 
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27-Sep-2019  
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Youth In Cocoa Farming Conference
 
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"MASO", a program under Youth Forward initiative led by Mastercard Foundation, is currently transforming the lives of over 11,000 out of school young people across the country in the Agric sector. 

MASO is a five-year program focused on creating employment opportunities for youth between the ages of fifteen (15) to twenty-five (25), mostly in cocoa farming communities in Ghana, implemented by Solidaridad, Aflatoun, Ashesi University, Fidelity Bank and the Ghana Cocoa Board. 

The MASO Programme Manager, Fred Frimpong, speaking to the Media after a day Conference organized for Youth in Cocoa, held in Ho, noted that the major course of the program is to create job opportunities in Cocoa production for Ghanaian youth who could not further their education.

" The program (MASO) is to support young people who have dropped out of school in Africa, gain employable skills to be able to have economic opportunities, the focus is on out of school youth in cocoa breeding communities giving them the skills training, mentorship, and support to be able to build career opportunities within the cocoa sector" he said.

He revealed that the program which was started in 2015 and expected to end on October 2020 has already impacted over 10,800 youth directly and closely to 30,000 people indirectly. 

"We set out to reach out to 10,800 young people within that period (the five years) directly, and then indirectly also 30,000, as we speak, we are a little over 11,000 young people in the program and based on the employment they (the first batch of 11,000) have created, the number of youth that they have engaged, we are already reaching out to over 30,000 young people, the idea is to make career options either as farmers or service providers" he noted.

The Chairman of the National Development Commission, Professor Stephen Addai, who gave the Keynote address during the conference spoke on several self-employed opportunities in the Agric sector; advising Ghanaian youth to go into Agriculture, most especially farming of Cocoa and other seasonal crops cultivation.

Professor Addai, who is yet to officially assume office as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), called for financial assistance to support and attract more young people into Cocoa farming. 

"Unfortunately, you know in cocoa, most of the people are aged and therefore we need young and new blood, but it must be attractive to them, MASO is doing good because is trying to professionalize the Cocoa industries so that young people can make it as their profession", he stated.

He stressed that "…that is why I'm proposing, they have just spent about Ghs20 billion in bailing out nonfunctional banks and I believe that just 1 billion to support Agriculture for the young people will be good".

A beneficiary of the MASO program from the Volta region, Mawuse Hotor, shared her successful story and was grateful for the initiative, noting that, out of the skills she has acquired from the program, she also has over three acres of cocoa farm, which is fetching her enough money to support her tertiary education.

About 500 young men and women drawn from the various cocoa farming communities in the Volta region have participated in the conference, where they were taken through entrepreneurship and technology learning, and how to produce the various products out of cocoa beans.

The Conference is theme " Professionalizing Cocoa Farming the role of the youth " basically with an aim to encourage Ghanaian youth to stay in farming to become entrepreneurs than chasing jobs at the government sector.
 





Over 11,000 youth trained in Cocoa Farming
 
Source: Daniel Adu Darko/Peacefmonline.com/[email protected]
 
 

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