The National Service Scheme (NSS) has started a process to revitalize its agriculture and industrial operations to create more jobs for the youth and boost internally generated funds (IGF) for the scheme.
As part of the revitalization process, the Acting Executive Director of the scheme, Mr. Osei Assibey, paid a working visit to some selected project sites within Accra, including the Papao demonstration farms at Haatso; Nungua Farms and the Medie Water Bottling factory.
He was accompanied by the Deputy Executive Director in charge of Operations, Mr. Kwaku Ohene Djan; Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Armstrong Esaah; Head of Projects, Mr. Oxford Bonsu; and Head of Policy planning, Ms. Jemima Anokye Boateng.
The visit formed part of efforts by Mr. Assibey to acquaint himself with the state of the projects under the scheme.
The tour was also an opportunity for him to have first-hand information on the success stories and challenges confronting the project to inform management decision and policy direction.
Mr. Assibey, who was satisfied with the state of the projects, expressed optimism about their revenue generation capacity and employment potential.
“Our water bottling plant at Medie which is currently 95 per cent completed, has the capacity to produce a total of 288,000 different sizes of bottled water daily when production begins and this will provide employment to many workers, including factory hands, distributors, and retailers,” he said.
He added that the livestock farms at Nungua and animal husbandry at Papao together could produce 15000 broilers and 8000 layers annually; 200 crates of eggs daily; 1500 turkeys; 6000 guinea fowls; 300 goats and sheep; 251 pigs and 382 rabbits every season.
He described employment across the agriculture value chain as enormous and noted that all the projects would be commercially viable when they become fully operational.
Mr. Assibey assured the workers on site that he would rally the support of the board and management of the NSS to commit resources into the projects.
He added that steps would be taken to source technical support and inject the required capital to revitalize the projects.
The NSS boss entreated the farm managers and workers to fulfill their side of the bargain by working assiduously to ensure that the investment does not go to waste.
He called on members of the public and commercial food entities to engage NSS for their poultry and livestock products.
Mr. Assibey also said the management of the scheme would implement strategic initiatives to scale up production at the various project sites so as to produce more to meet the demand on the market ahead of festivities in the country.
“Our products are fresh and hygienic, our prices are competitive and we also offer delivery services to our cherished clients,” he said.
Apart from the core mandate of deploying graduates to do one-year mandatory national service, the NSS operates farms and other commercial projects across the country.
These projects are meant to generate income and serve as a practical training ground for the many graduates from the colleges of agriculture and tertiary institutions who come in as interns or national service persons.
The Scheme has fully operational farms in Ejura, Brenam, Dawhenya, Komenda, Damango, Tantala, Brenam, Yizesi, Anweabeng.
The Nungua Animal Husbandry and the Papao Demonstration Farm are stocked with livestock such as goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, a piggery and fish farm.
Produce from the farms is sold to the general public and corporate entities. Over the years, maize from the NSS farms has been sold to the Ghana Buffer Stock, which is then channeled towards the free senior high school (FSHS) policy to feed the students in the high schools.
Additionally, the scheme operates a borehole drilling rig on a commercial basis. However, as part of the scheme’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), boreholes are drilled in communities without water that host service persons and augments the government effort in addressing the water challenges nationwide.
CORPORATE AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE, NSS