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Mr. Issa Ouedraogo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of B-BOVID, an indigenous agro-based company in the Western Region, has tasked the youth to venture into acqua-culture, saying it’s a viable and attractive career path for unemployed youth.
He said with dwindling fish catch, as a result of the oil exploration on the Jubilee Oilfields, there was the need for proactive measures to safeguard fish security in the country.
“Even though the oil exploration will bring us revenue and boost the fortunes of the country’s economy, however, if there is any major oil spillage in our waters, it will have consequential effects on our marine life and the people will suffer immensely”, he said.
Mr. Ouedraogo, expressed these concerns when a delegation from Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture toured the company’s site, at Mpohor, to acquaint themselves with modern farming practices.
He urged the government, donor partners and companies operating in the Region to empower the youth to venture into acqua-culture and modern agricultural practices, which would create jobs, wealth and ensure food security in the country.
This transformation would enhance youth development and help avert total dependency on crude oil and other natural resources in the country, he added.
The agro-firm, based in Mpohor District, promotes a new model of socially inclusive commercial farming, combining innovative agricultural practices, ecological farming and social entrepreneurship to deliver high quality organic products.
The company operates on the values of improving the lives of the people, the planet and profits (PPP) by conserving the environment, promoting sustainable lifestyles, creating jobs and reducing poverty in rural communities.
It also offers Information Communication Technology (ICT) training to local farmers, students and promotes sustainable organic agriculture and profitable agribusiness for smallholder farmers.
The CEO noted that there was the need for funding and policies that support the youth business in agriculture and improve opportunities for them, especially those in rural communities using ICT in agriculture.
He said organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people.
It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of chemical fertilizers and inputs with diverse effects on the environment, he said
He said B-BOVID’s 14 acre land is a hive of industry including 700,000 seedlings of palm oil, tomatoes, beetroots, cabbage, carrots etc, almost completed organic palm oil and palm kernel oil mills, which would extract 240 tonnes and 180 tonnes of palm oil and palm kernel oil respectively.
It also has organic vegetable oil refinery, animal husbandry demonstration farm, an ICT for Agriculture centre, agricultural machinery centre, an alternative livelihood centre, vegetable demonstration centre and aqua-culture, with four fishing ponds made up of over 10,000 tilapia and catfish.
He said the company would continue to promote sustainable agriculture and lifestyle as a way forward in ensuring sustainable economic development.
He believed it could be an alternative option for youth and farmers who cannot easily work or benefit from the oil and gas sector.
B-BOVID is an acronym for Building Business on values, Integrity and Dignity, which sums up the principles of the company.
Madam Victoria Tsekpo, leader of the delegation from WIAD, commended B-BOVID for its innovative ideas and entreated the company to embrace women that were into small-scale palm oil processing in order to increase their income.
She said when raw materials are refined into finished products, value is added, which increases the prices on the market, saying it’s time Ghanaian entrepreneurs add value to their raw materials, to boost the local economy.