The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and Mondelez International Cocoa Life, a global organisation, yesterday (Monday) launched a project to support 436 youth to venture into businesses in the cocoa sector.
Under the one-year project named “Youth as Farm Service Providers”, the beneficiaries from Upper and West Akyem and Awutu Senya in the Eastern and Central regions would be given funds and technical support.
The beneficiaries – in 44 groups -were selected from cocoa growing communities based on their own interest after studies were conducted under Mondelez International’s global cocoa sustainability programme.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEA, MrsKosiYankey-Ayeh said the project was in line with the government’s initiative to sustain the entrepreneurship sector with focus on the youth.
She said the government alone could not improve entrepreneurship, thus needed other organizations such Mondelez International to step in and offer support.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said it was important to create a well sustainable cocoa sector by grooming the youth and ensuring that they were given the right resources and tools to work.
“The interventions will include technical skills upgrade, entrepreneurship training, and business management training”, she said.
According to Mrs Yankey-Ayeh, although many of the young entrepreneurs understood the technical aspect of their businesses, it was about time they were supported to unleash their entrepreneurial side to improve their businesses.
The project, MrsYankey-Ayeh said, would allow the youth to realise the importance of the sustainability and profitability of venturing into the cocoa sector.
“The launch of the project will allow the youth to realise the importance of the sustainability and profitability of the venture and support the work of the cocoa sector”, she said.
On her part, the Country Lead for Cocoa Life, MrsYaaPreprahAmekudzi, noted that the project would seek to provide the skills, finance, and access to lands for the youth in order for them to make a living out of cocoa.
In order to ensure the sustainability of cocoa production, MrsAmekudzisaid it was involving the youth in the cocoa production chain to help nurture their interests and creativity.
“Without the youth getting involved in cocoa, we cannot look at a future of cocoa production in which the youth have the energy”, she said.