The African Youth Employment Initiatives (AYEI), a youth-centered non-governmental organization (NGO) focused on building and enabling interests, skills and capacities of the youth as well as women in aquaculture agribusiness in the Juaben Municipality of Ashanti, is working to empower youth in the area into acquiring wealth in fisheries and aquaculture.
Mr. Fulgence Niyonkuru, the Executive Director of the NGO addressing the media at one of its demonstration site at Nobewam, a farming community in the Juaben Municipality, said his outfit was with the aim of promoting private sector and smallholder driven aquaculture agribusiness.
The NGO’s initiative currently being run in communities in the municipality such as Nobewam, Achiase and Juaben which involved establishing learning hubs and demonstration aquaculture farms as schools for farmers in the area, was focused on helping to eradicate poverty, improve rural smallholder farmers’ livelihood and ensure food security.
He said the initiative which involved simple to adopt technology aquaculture incubation was in partnership with the Juaben Municipal Assembly, and was geared towards creating youth employment and wealth creation, and had as well, trained about 120 youth in the municipality in contemporary aquaculture management and business since 2016 [N1] .
Mr. Niyonkuru said the initiative of “aquaculture training for the youth” by his outfit had also trained farmers with relevant knowledge and skills to make their aquaculture farming activities more productive.
“We are also offering on-field monitoring and technical support to farmers to help them deal with issues linked to irrigation and solve problems related to aquaculture agribusiness”, he noted.
Mr. Niyonkuru said series of training sessions being run by his outfit for the youth in the area included construction of ponds, installations of its complementary components, vegetable production, on fish smoking and preservation and introduction to digital Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools as well as carefully designed mobile application for market access and agribusiness development .
Mr. Niyonkuru said his outfit – “AYEI” which received an outstanding award from the Juaben Municipal Assembly for its contribution to youth and women development, especially in aquaculture agribusiness during this year’s farmers’ day in the Juaben Municipality, was poised to introduce its initiative to all community members in the municipality and across the country to help strengthen food security system for fish and vegetable farming.
He called for extensive agricultural extension and support for the marking, training and research into aquaculture, an area he said could help in the attainment of the sustainable development goals.
Mrs. Kyerewaa Christina, a beneficiary of the AYEI aquaculture initiative and native of Nobewam community said she now had sustainable business which had alleviated her family out of poverty since 2019 when she got engaged in the AYEI aquaculture initiative.
She urged the government and other relevant stakeholders to support the cause of aquaculture entrepreneurship training for the economic benefits of both families and the nation at large.
Madam Susana Duku, a beneficiary of the AYEI aquaculture initiative called on the government to have a specialized policy intervention for aquaculture development in the country, adding that such could transform and promote rural development and economic gains of the country.