CKT-UTAS Set to Nurture “AGRIPRENEURS” Through Partnership with Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC)

A significant milestone was reached on the 18th of March 2024, as Mr. Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, Executive Director of (KIC), officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CKT-UTAS, represented by the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Registrar, Prof. Samson A. Abagale, and Mr. Gilbert Ansoglenang respectively, at the head office of KIC in Accra.

This MoU marked the commencement of a partnership to support startups within the agriculture value chain.

In his opening remarks, Prof. Abagele, emphasised the importance of this initiative as it primarily would tackle post-harvest losses as one of the goals. He further stated, “It is widely known that in Northern Ghana, vegetables and perishable foods often spoil on the farms, therefore, we are committed to developing innovations that will extend the shelf life of these products”. Additionally, he believed that the partnership would aid in addressing youth unemployment by involving community members in this project, thus creating employment opportunities.

The journey began on the 5th of February 2024, where a meeting was held within the Council Chamber at CKT-UTAS, and a proposal was presented by the team from KIC led by Mr. Titus Michael Beyuoh, Business Development Manager, alongside Ms. Pearl Kwakye, Business Development Specialist, and Mr. Kamil Nabong, Portfolio Manager, the team presented a plan to forge a partnership with CKT-UTAS to role out some programmes focusing on the agriculture value chain within its catchment area and serve participants within the North East Region.

Prof.  Abagale and Mr. Ansoglenang, accompanied by some university staff, welcomed the idea and the concept proposed by the KIC team. Discussions began to initiate the implementation of this innovative initiative on campus. This initiative also seeks to encourage and empower women’s participation in the competition

With this partnership, now solidified, the stage is set to run programmes such as the AgriTech Challenge Classic and Pro for participants to pitch their innovative ideas that will revolutionise the agriculture value chain. CKT-UTAS now joins 15 other institutions (Universities and colleges of Agriculture) across the country in a competition. This competition seeks to cultivate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among individuals aged 18 to 35 with a passion for transforming the agricultural value chain.

The choice of CKT-UTAS as the host institution for the “AgriTech Challenges” was deliberate, considering its strategic positioning and capacity to also serve as a beacon of excellence for the North East Region. Participants in the challenge will not only vie for significant cash prizes ranging from USD 10,000 to USD 50,000 but also gain access to invaluable mentorship through an intensive incubation programme designed to nurture and scale their ventures.

Mr. Beyuoh expressed utmost confidence in CKT-UTAS’s ability to drive meaningful change through this collaboration. “CKT-UTAS embodies the spirit of innovation and academic excellence,” he remarked. By participating in the AgriTech Challenge Classic and Pro programmes, we aim to empower a new generation of “agripreneurs” who will lead sustainable development in the Region and beyond.

Thus far, what began as a proposal presentation in February has now evolved into a promising partnership between CKT-UTAS and KIC, set to empower young innovators and entrepreneurs in the agricultural value chain through the establishment of an innovation centre on campus.

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