General News of Thursday, 13 July 2017
Students of agriculture colleges in the country have lamented what they call government’s seeming neglect of their challenges, and have thus called for a restoration of allowances paid to them.
Addressing a news conference in Accra, the President of the Agriculture College Students Union, Sampson Chimbur Sanika, complained about how the various institutions lacked infrastructure and logistics which affects not only students, but also teachers in the institutions, a situation that generally affects the performance of students.
He noted that, the purpose for the establishment of the colleges was to train extension officers and certified veterinary officers who would convey new and improved methods of agriculture to the country’s farmers, in order for the agric sector, to see a steady growth and development.
He however said this objective has not been achieved as thousands of graduates from the agric colleges remain unemployed by government for that purpose.
According to him, agriculture employs nearly 60% of the Ghanaian population, which is crucial not only for job and wealth creation, but also food security.
Mr. Chimbur Sanika also appealed to government to restore their cancelled allowance because students depend heavily on the allowance to support themselves.
According to him, the allowance was cancelled by the previous government in order to expand infrastructure to admit more students into the institutions, but since the current government has restored teacher and nursing trainees’ allowances, they also deserve that benefit.
The Union however threatened to picket at the Ministry of Agriculture should the government refuse to heed their calls.
There are five state Agriculture colleges in the country, which admit almost 3,000 people yearly.
The colleges which run a three-year certificate course in general agriculture, are the Kwadaso College of Agriculture in the Ashanti Region, Damango Agriculture College in the Northern Region, Ohawu in the Volta Region, Ejura in the Ashanti Region and Animal Health and Production for veterinary officers in the Northern Region.