Dr Samuel Hodor Mensah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sahmen Coconut Farm Resort Center, has called on the youth to venture into coconut plantation as a business to make them self-reliant.
He said coconut farming was a very lucrative venture that could turn the fortunes of the youth around, urging them not to migrate to the urban centres to struggle for greener pastures which were not there.
Dr Mensah who is an Optometrist by profession and a farmer by passion, made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the Centre in Mepom, a community near Adieso in Upper West Akim District.
He said the youth were the future of the country and they must be supported to be self-sufficient in life through the acquisition of business skills to be able to contribute meaningfully towards the development of their respective communities.
“Coconut like other cash economic crops, are not capital- intensive, easy to-do, maintenance-free, and long-life source of steady income which if done well with hybrid variety, could take care of children’s schooling and also create employment for many others,” he stated.
Dr Mensah therefore appealed to Chiefs and care takers to release lands to help promote youth engagement in agriculture. He indicated that coconut farming was a lifelong venture that must be embraced by prospective farmers.
Dr Mensah who is the 2022 overall best farmer in Upper West Akim District and the best Agro-Processer in Eastern Region, said he started farming with coconut plantation on a 162-acre land and later added a 42-acre palm plantation, 20-acre rice, 43-acre cassava and 70-acre pineapple farmlands.
He stated that the farm currently has 400 pigs, 30 sheep, 300 rabbits, poultry, 10,000 catfish, 5,000 tilapia, grass cutters, 54 goats, a restaurant with lecture and training hall for agro business training, zoo with animals like monkeys and many others.
Dr Mensah further said fresh coconut fruits, de-husked dried coconut oils (hot pressed and cold press), Dwarf/Hybrid coconut seedlings among others were some of the produce of the coconut plantation.
With his long-standing experience in best farming practices, the Centre offered services in Agricultural Consultancy and Plantation Management and provided business and technical advice as well as support and train small and medium farm managers.
The Centre has 25 permanent workers and 10 casual workers.
He urged farmers to add more value to their produce to be part of high earning zone as they worked harder to improve productivity and food security.
Dr Mensah expressed appreciation to all who in diverse ways supported him in his endeavours and wished them a prosperous new year.