The Department of Agro Enterprise Development under the Faculty of Applied Sciences of the Ho Technical University is to develop a 62-acre farm land owned by the University at Kodzobi in the Adaklu District to complement its training programmes.
Mr Phanuel Klogo, Head of the Department said the acreage would be developed to host facilities for 1000 broilers and layers, 500 goats and sheep as well as 300 cattle.
He said the plan included; a farm house and a restaurant, and that the project would be fully managed by the Department to offer students the needed opportunities in agriculture production and research.
Mr Klogo said this when he opened a two-day learning and sharing forum on agriculture development held at the Esther Ocloo Demonstration Restaurant of the University, attended by some key players in the agro industry.
He said a 20-acre mango plantation and a mushroom house were currently on the land, and that the Department would establish an orchard and venture into fruit juice production.
He said the Department would also invest in the commercial production of vegetables and other non-traditional products, and appealed for support from stakeholders.
Mr Klogo said the Department had commissioned an Agro Enterprise Students Association (AGROSA), and was currently keeping about 100 poultry birds for supervised farm practicals.
He said a competency- based training approach had been adopted to equip students with sufficient agribusiness skills and knowledge for further educational advancement, and also to prepare them towards establishing careers in their chosen areas of specification.
The Departmental Head said industrial education tours and attachments were being regularly undertaken by students, and industry stakeholders and resource persons were also being engaged to motivate students.
Madam Paulina Adzoe, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology praised the efforts of the Department, noting that collaboration with industry was part of the University’s mandate.
“Such forums would help blur the lines between industry and academia, and erase the knowledge gap. They are key to our forward journey as a Technical University,” she said.
Industry stakeholders at the forum encouraged students to consider careers in agriculture, and take advantage of the training programmes to reap significantly from the ever expanding agro industry.