National Service Scheme Volunteer, The National Volunteer Programme of the National Service Scheme (NSS) is to complement the mandatory national service of the scheme, the Executive Director of the NSS, Mr Vincent Senam Kuagbenu, has indicated.
He said about 5, 000 voluntary service persons would, therefore, be registered with the scheme to promote volunteerism in the country’s working environment.
Mr Kuagbenu was speaking at a media briefing organised by the Ashanti Regional Directorate of the NSS when some volunteers applied fertiliser – NPK 1515 on a 300-acre land maize plantation at Ejura in the Ejura-Sekyeredumase District of the Ashanti Region.
Since his appointment as the executive director of the scheme, the NSS had engaged 40, 000 personnel as mandatory national service persons in 2009 and registered 20, 000 as voluntary service persons.
In 2010, the mandatory national service persons were 53, 000 as against 10, 000 voluntary persons with the scheme.
Briefing the media in the presence of the Ashanti Regional Director and the Kumasi Metro Director of the NSS, Mr Kwesi Quainoo and Mr Emmanuel Asiedu-Boafo respectivelyas well as the service personnel working on the farm, Mr Kuagbenu said it was the shortage of teachers in the year 2001 and 2002 that gave birth to the volunteer programme.
He said the “voluntary service is an intervention”, adding that the NSS was mandated to deploy service persons to the agricultural sector as a first place of posting to help combat hunger.
He said engaging voluntary persons in Agriculture other than the classroom was paramount to the scheme.
Mr Kuagbenu expressed tthe hope that the 6, 000 bags of maize harvested and sold to the Conference of Heads of Assisted Schools (CHASS) in December last year and paid in June this year would double production in the next harvesting period.
According to him, apart from rice, maize was another essential cereal that supported human sustenance and that improving yield on the Ejura NSS farm was very paramount.
He pointed out that the selling of the maize was to support boarding senior high schools and the Ghana School Feeding Programme.
He mentioned farm implements and land acquisition as some major challenges the NSS faced on its farm project, saying that collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) would offer a great deal.
The NSS boss advised service persons to be active in the volunteer programme, emphasising that one could build a better Ghana through agriculture.