Fruit juices manufacturing company Blue Skies Foundation (BSF) has handed over the governance and management of School Farm Programme (SFP), a competition that seeks to expose young people to agriculture and its opportunities to Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC).
The Foundation says the SFP offers good agriculture practice training to selected students and teachers and provides them with basic farm inputs to produce crops on their school farms.
The students learn from concepts such as nursing seedlings, transplanting, cultivation of beds and the right application use of approved chemicals, and fertilizer.
Mr. Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, Executive Director for KIC and Mr. Alistair Djimatey, Head of Blue Skies Foundation and Corporate Affairs Manager for Blue Skies Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding to seal the transition in Accra.
Under the agreement, KIC will regularly share top-line impact data of the School Farm project with Blue Skies to facilitate ongoing evaluation of the project’s performance.
Mr Gyan-Kesse said KIC would continue with the growth trajectory of the program, and encourage more schools to participate in the competition.
“It is a good journey for young people to learn practicalities of agriculture, learn the lesson of farming because it teaches life lessons and the value chain provides many opportunities,” he said.
KIC, he stated, aimed to encourage schools to expand their farms and contribute to their rationing.
“We have great results. Produce of some schools generated about GHS 20,000 while other schools produce when sold was able to pay examination fees of the students,” he said.
On his part, Mr Alistair Djimatey, Head of Blue Skies Foundation and Corporate Affairs Manager for Blue Skies Company Ltd., affirmed that Blue Skies will maintain an advisory role in the competition’s governance, assisting and advising on its development and growth.
The Foundation would support agriculture entrepreneurs with funding to change the face of agriculture on the continent.
In 2022, KIC partnered with Blue Skies Foundation with funding support from the Mastercard Foundation to help achieve the objectives of the School Farm Competition.
The KIC-BSF partnership helped reach 198 Junior High and Senior High Schools in 2022 with over 5,500 students exposed to agricultural value chain opportunities and changing their mindset to agriculture entrepreneurship.
As of December 2023, over 18,000 students were trained under the program, under the partnership arrangements.
Some past winners of the School Farm Awards include Adoe D/A Junior High School (Best School Farm, JHS Category, 2023), Ghana Senior High School, Tamale (Best School Farm, SHS Category, 2023), Kwahu Tafo Senior High School (Best School Farm, SHS Category 2022), Peki Senior High Technical School (Most Committed School, 2023) and Ecole Ronsard (Most Innovative School) among others.