Workers in the formal sector, who are desirous of venturing into farming, now have the opportunity to do so with the launch of the Virtual Farmer programme.
ICT solutions provider, UCL Ghana Limited and Israeli-based Oz Agribusiness Projects & Investments Ltd (OAPI) launched the programme in support of government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
The Virtual Farmer program seeks to entice workers in Ghana currently working in the formal sector into agriculture.
It is a diversified means of earning additional income while building a viable venture one can rely on while on retirement.
According to the Director of UCL Ghana Limited, Samuel Duodu, most of government’s intervention on farming has been geared towards the smallholder farmers hence their decision to introduce the programme to benefit the working group.
“A lot of formal sector workers aspire to be farmers, they sit in their offices and they cannot be farmers because they cannot move from their desk.
“The Virtual Farms scheme gives them the opportunity to buy shares in existing farms to be farmers," he said.
Explaining how the scheme works, he said Virtual Farms is working in collaboration with the Agric Ministry and interested persons are to pick a form, fill and submit to the Ministry.
Some background checks will be done on the applicant including financial credibility before finally being allowed to join the programme.
Mr Duodu said they are currently producing less than 20 metric tonnes per hectare for tomatoes but with the introduction of the scheme, the yield will be tripled.
“Onion yield will also be tripled and people will see new farming technology, mechanisms and it also means making more money for Ghana," he said.
The CEO, Haim Oz said with Israel's renowned for its Agric and technology feats transferring the knowledge and know how to African countries like Ghana is timely.
He said they target reducing the country's importation of food and other products which can be produced locally.
"By marrying our expertise and know-how to the potential that Ghana has, I think it will be a win-win situation for us and it will bring the prosperity we all want.
He said the project will be established based on three factors; the government support, private local investors and then the Oz Agribusiness Projects.
"We will lead all the management of the professional output to ensure that quality yields as well as look for ready market and add value to produce," he said.