NSS ventures into commercial maize, rice and soya beans production

Executive Director Assibey Antwi gives a helping hand in clearing the land

All is set for the National Service Scheme (NSS) to go into commercial mixed crop farming for the production of maize, rice and soya beans in Ghana at its Kumawu Youth Farms.

The intention is to position itself to be one of Ghana’s leading producers of the said crops for commercial purposes.

The Scheme has acquired 200,000 acres of farmland at Kumawu, out of which 20,000 acres was presently being developed to kick-start planting.

Two weeks ago, the management of the NSS spent time in Kumawu to inspect the land and assess progress of work on its development.

The Executive Director of the NSS, Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, noted that with about five major river bodies surrounding the acquired farmland, continuous farming activity throughout the year was guaranteed once the project takes off.

NSS officials jubilate as the project takes off

He said with about 3,000 agricultural and veterinary medicine graduates who were engaged to work with the scheme as service personnel every year, the NSS’ resolve to venture into commercial maize, rice and soya beans production would be achieved.

Mr. Assibey Antwi said that the Kumawu Youth Farms would not only enhance Ghana’s food security, but also create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth, as well as support poultry farmers with feed for their birds.

He said the scheme had already signed an off-taker agreement with the Poultry Farmers Association to this effect.

Apart from recording increased food production in the country, the Scheme also aimed at using farming to offer practical training for the numerous agricultural graduates who work with the scheme.

He said the NSS intended to assist agricultural graduate personnel to form co-operatives, solicit funding from EXIM Bank, and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) to enable them farm on the vast farmlands they had acquired after their service tenure had ended.

A portion of the cleared land

The Kumawu Youth Farms adds to the 14 existing farmlands across the country, where the NSS  cultivates mainly maize and being managed by agricultural experts, stressing that the Kumawu Youth Farm, unlike the other projects, would engage in mixed cropping and animal husbandry.

Mr. Assibey Antwi said the NSS was in discussions with agencies, including the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the MasterCard Foundation, which had expressed interest in making funds available for the cultivation of the land.

“The object of this farm project is to create a vibrant agricultural enclave for the many youths in and around Kumawu township for sustainable employment,” he said.

“We intend to create about 20,000 direct and 5,000 indirect jobs under the project,” Mr. Antwi further disclosed.

The NSS Executive Director indicated that the Kumawu Youth Farms was going to be the NSS’ biggest farming enclave, one of an end-to-end nature, which starts from production to processing in the long term, in line with its mission of “Deployment for Employment” from “Mobilisation for Deployment.”

Mr. Assibey Antwi said the NSS’s new strategic direction and initiatives, which he mooted on assumption of office as the Executive Director, sought to provide an enabling environment for all personnel to acquire the relevant skills that could meet industrial demands, by which young graduates were expected to embrace entrepreneurship by identifying viable areas of the economy where they could explore their potentials.

The NSS, Mr. Assibey Antwi disclosed, had engaged former the Member of Parliament for Twifo-Atti-Morkwa and Policy Advisor, Abraham Dwuma Odoom, as a Consultant for the Kumawu project.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here