AP OAK, an AgriDev organization focused on developing the interest of the youth in agriculture, has launched the horticulture component of the Graduate-In-Agribusiness Reality TV Show. The competition will see 60 tertiary students and graduates across Ghana gunning for the coveted prize. The show is designed as an enterprise incubator dedicated to cultivation and marketing of fruits and vegetables. At the end of 11 weeks, only 5 participant groups or individuals will receive an investment package to fully kick-start their own agribusinesses under the sponsorship of AP OAK Company and Hortifresh.
The beneficiaries of this horticulture module are final year students and graduates from any tertiary or agriculture training institute who are interested in starting their own enterprises. The show focuses on graduates in a bid to:
- To stem the tide of unemployment after tertiary education.
- To help the youth start, own and manage their own businesses in the agriculture sector.
- To rekindle interest in agriculture, but specifically in fruit and vegetable production.
As part of the preparations towards the launch of the Graduates-in-Agribusiness Reality TV Show, AP OAK embarked on promotional campaigns on various university campuses such as the University of Ghana -Legon, University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology- Kumasi, Ejura Agric College and others to educate them about the project. Virtual seminars and workshops were organized to showcase real opportunities for jobs and enterprise development in fruit and vegetables.
After an intensive awareness coverage, applications were opened to all tertiary final-year students and graduates to register and submit their business plans. Over 200 applications were received, and after scrutiny by an expert selection panel, 60 applicants were selected for the practical farm incubation phase.
To date, the 60 finalists have been taken through a series of business set-up and management seminars, as well as theoretical training in vegetable farming despite the onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic. This was to enable them to learn the fundamental principles in managing an agribusiness enterprise, introduction to fruit and vegetable cultivation, land preparation, nursery bed-making, and many more.
To ensure that the beneficiaries adopt the right agronomical practices, AP OAK and HortiFresh supplied them with agricultural start-up kits made up of knapsack sprayers, cutlasses, rakes, hoes, shovels, hand-forks, farm boots and PPEs.
All is then set for the participants to undergo the 11-week practical farm set-up, production, and marketing under the tutelage of trainers from UG LIPREC and Leventis Foundation. The Reality shows will be aired on various television channels such as Akuafo TV (every Sundays at 8pm and repeated on Wednesdays 5pm), Today’s TV and Truth TV. We wish the participants luck and thank the sponsors and partners for making the launch a success.