School Farm is a farming initiative setup by school authorities in order to enable agricultural students acquire practical farming skills to complement knowledge gained in the classroom. Basically, School farms are created for the purposes of providing fundamental agricultural skills to inexperienced students.
Farming is an important source of livelihood in most parts of the world. It involves tough work but it contributes to food security and the health of the nation. The introduction of free secondary education in the country has made it possible for the government to contract the National Food Buffer stock to supply the Senior High Schools with food stuffs, Government spent huge sum of money for the supply of foodstuffs to the Senior High Schools. Not long ago heads of Senior High Schools threatened to shutdown the schools due to lack of food to feed the students whilst the suppliers to the national buffer stock also demanded government to settle the debts owned.
In the 80's the then government introduced school farming to feed the students, farm workers and labourers were employed by the government to hep in the school farm. Re-introduction of school farm will save the government huge sum of money which can be use for infrastructure in the schools.
Schools in the southern sector in the country have different types of crops that can be cultivated and the northern sector also have crops that can be grown on their land. Schools without land for farming can purchased food stuff from other schools at a reduced price. For example millet, rice, maize, yam, beans and etc can be cultivated both in the northern and southern sector, schools in Greater Accra can produce vegetables. All kinds of crops can be produced in the Senior High Schools.
Agriculture Science students can use the school farm for practical studies, this will aid them to acquire basic knowledge and skills in agriculture. This will also serve as employment opportunities for the youth, some may be employed as farm work assistant in the schools.
Government can establish a ware house and storage facilities for the schools, the warehouse and the storage facilities csn be established in the Southern Zone and the Northern zone.
Poultry farming and livestock can be established in the schools without fertile land for crops. Schools can trade in batter trade to feed their students, schools with crops can sell their crops to school with poultry and livestock. The school farm will also help to prevent encroachers from the school land, majority of the Senior High Schools are facing challenges with people encroaching the school land.
School farm programs are a recommended strategy to improve dietary habits and nutrition among students. School farms come in handy when it comes to teaching a variety of topics in agriculture, be it Crop Rotation, Mixed Cropping, Inter-Cropping and etc. Whenever the school records bumper harvest, the students can be fed from the produce, while proceeds from the ones sold can be used to develop the school.