The Agribusiness Students Association of Ghana (ABSAG), KNUST chapter with a membership of five hundred students comprises students pursuing Bsc. Agribusiness Management in the Faculty of Agriculture. ABSAG has the aim of organizing students in the agribusiness fraternity to pursue a common academic and social agenda, in the agriculture and business related fields especially.
The over-concentration on primary production (farming) as a way of life by Ghanaian farmers has led to food insecurity, unemployment, escalating food prices and high importation bills to feed the nation although the agricultural sector seems to engage the highest proportion of the nation’s labour force. Over the past few years, the service sector has been leading in terms of the contributions of the various sectors to the economy. This is no good news at all since it is a clear demonstration of how the nation has been inefficient in managing the agricultural sector which should supply raw materials for industry to manufacture in order to ensure value creation and addition as well as enable Ghana to export processed products instead of raw materials that have no value in the international market. This phenomenon has a rippling effect on every single business unit in Ghana, whether small, medium or large scale and regardless of the area of operation of such a business. This lack of structural transformation is what led to the introduction of Agribusiness Management into the curricula of most universities at the undergraduate level.
Agribusiness is a concept that captures the whole value chain; from input supply through to production on the farm, processing of farm produce into other value added products, marketing and distribution, financing, storage, advisory services and after sales service. This is the only programme of study that teaches the student to make business through agriculture, ensure food security, offer employment, reduce importation of food and export processed food products and re-stabilise the unstable, service-dominating, fractured and unstructured Ghanaian economy.
Students of KNUST pursuing BSC. AGRIBUSINESS MANAGEMENT have therefore seen it as a matter of concern to respond to the cry of Ghana and solve her problems by first putting themselves in an association that will be the driving force behind such a national agenda. The association is therefore inevitable as it has to nurture the entrepreneurs that will put the economy on its right path towards a higher middle income earning economy.
The global trend of demand for value creation and addition for agricultural products and the quest for food security in the light of increasing populations has also made this course a necessity and of global acceptance. The student association thus exists to also contribute in creating the conducive environment for member students to run with and achieve this aim in their fields of studies.
To see a more formidable association with supersonic growth and development within and beyond the university environment.
To effectively organise all students within the agribusiness fraternity (KNUST chapter) to mobilise resources, techniques, technologies and initiatives or ideas as well as funds for remarkable changes and impacts in the association.
ABSAG stands for truth and integrity, creativity and originality, value addition and uniqueness as well as oneness and coordination, with utmost fear of God.
To create a more credible, action-oriented, disciplined and well-informed association among many other groups within and beyond the university environment.
To equip students of the association for use to society, institutions and industries.
To get every single individual on board
To get the unflinching support of the school’s authorities, especially internal administrative heads like the Dean of the Faculty, the Head of Department and Patrons.
Defining clear policies and action plans for the associations programs and projects.
Ensuring an all-inclusive-all-round program package for members’ benefits.
Proper monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for the use of the association’s funds and all other resources as may be acquired with time.
The creation of strong alliances with national and international bodies whose activities and mission fall in the interest of agribusiness.
Active and timely sponsorship avenues for the running of the association.
Abreast members with periodic and timely information in matters relating to the association, ABSAG and the program, agribusiness.
Strengthening the executive body, the NUGS as well as all other committees within the association, with information and other resources as may be needed for their smooth running.
Taking keen interest in motivating, training and involving the class representatives.
Faithfulness to and consultation with HOD, Patrons etc. in running the association.
Furnishing the authorities above and members with progress reports, periodic and timely information. Any or all of these authorities and or the General assembly would have their take before a project, program or any proposal is established.
Policies and welfare of students which would cover a wider spectrum such as students’ academics, social life issues, financial issues, entrepreneurship and students’ work and study programs, field and educational trips not forgetting fun trips too.
Periodic planned or unplanned Internal and or external auditing shall be encouraged.
Periodic and constant follow-up and communication between executives and prospective sponsors would be ensured.
Periodic flow of information through notices on the notice boards and the available social media.
Periodic inventory analysis or stock-taking on all assets, imprests issued and transactions made shall not be evitable.
Division of labour, effective supervision and frequent and updated reportages.
Welfare of members shall be given due consideration and shall cover areas of:
Spiritual life: ABSAG believes that to ensure the welfare of her members, means to see to it that her members are well-fed. Thus in all facets of their lives and members holding unto their God would give them a cover and protection as well as equip them live the lives worthy of praise without which she would battle with a whole lot of moral cancers that would eventually hinder her growth.
Health: link with the students’ clinic and SRC to renew insurance cards for members to access health care. Hospitalised or sick members shall also be attended to.
Social: seminars, awards and motivation, fun trips etc.
Accommodation: alliance with hostel managers to secure rooms in advance for members, whiles considering security and utilities availability and affordability.
Feeding: would be addressed through the contribution or quota for welfare dues, SRC-KBN fund and or contribution from a class concerned when the need arises.
School Fees: ABSAG would work hand in hand with SR-KBN, SLTF, Work and Study to help students pay partial or full fees. For this reason, ABSAG would initiate other business operations to get (needy) students on board.
Shall see to the timely and well organisation of all programs and meetings ABSAG in consultation with any other committee as may be concerned.
Book for food, venues, sports items etc for all programs (internal and external)
Secure and keep safe or return all hired materials etc. for meetings and programs
Help keep the association assets safe
Help in the distribution of souvenirs as well as food items and program outline
Shall run errands for the association
Prepare venues for programs and meetings
Shall in consultation with the executive body search for places for trips and tours (fun and educational) together with any committee involved
Shall seek to the general welfare of members and somewhat patrons (in special cases of marriage, birthday, ailments, funeral occasions)
Shall seek to the psychosocial, spiritual, academic and financial welfare of members
In consultation with the editorial committee and secretary monitor the birthdates of members and express wishes to them through messages.
Thus a software system may be developed for that.
Shall collate members grievances and together with the executive council help respond to them accordingly.
Shall devise means, strategies and avenues to increase the allocated funds for welfare.
Accurate and timely dissemination of information in consultation with the general secretary circulate memos etc.
Handle the key to the notice board and shall keep it and the documents therein safe
Together with the secretary and welfare committee disseminate birthday messages to birthday celebrants.
Responsible for the association’s website: its development, management and updating.
See to the design of the association’s letterhead, and logo etc as and when may be necessary.
Shall play major role such as granting interviews with students, lecturers and high-profiled men in the production of the association’s magazines, newsletters etc.
Shall record and take videos and pictures of the association’s special programs, projects and meetings.
Shall act as publicity and somewhat media communications team for the association.
Shall encourage members through the collation and exhibition of art and poetic works of members and may in consultation with the executive body organise such art exhibitions and competitions.
Shall welcome all freshmen and under the supervision of the executive body and the organising committee organise orientations for freshmen.
Encouraged to join the SRC’s volunteers for welcoming freshmen.
To compile database of all freshmen admitted in the department and for that matter the association.
To have a pre-arrival check of admitted freshmen to the department.
Mentor freshmen and link them to their academic tutors and possibly link them to their senior course mates and Teaching Assistants.
To update the senate (also known as the alumni) on information pertaining to ABSAG’s operations, developments, programs and activities.
To bring to the notice of the executive council (and members) as well as the Project Committee on the senates’ plans, contributions and aid for the association.
ABSAG shall in collaboration with GAAS undertake a common project within the academic year through their created common fund as agreed by authorities involved.
This committee shall through the supervision of the executive body and patrons spearhead this. Thereby coming out with a project, a proposal for sponsorship, a working plan, a budget and any other proposals and policies as may be needed.
Shall oversee the project process which also includes feasibility studies and analysis of a need, endorsement by authorities, matters relating to consortium/contract, monitoring and evaluation.
It should be noted however that all expenditure and income .i.e. all financial commitments would be taken care of by the executive bodies of the two associations, patrons and any other authority as may be needed.
ABSAG executive body for the 2013/2014 academic year seeks to undertake two major projects as part of their agenda for the tenure of office and these are:
The ABSAG GRASSCUTTER BIZ (GCB)
THE TRATECH PROJECT
The committee in charge of these projects shall in consultation with the executive body and Patrons devise all effective and task-oriented strategies and spearhead this business through the drafting its proposal for sponsorship, plan, getting the land and securing, putting structure, getting the first batch of (breeding) stock, labour acquisition, management and marketing.
Shall present a budget to this effect
Shall monitor and evaluation
Proper accounts and records on project
Submission of project report
NB: the committee shall not be responsible for making any payment whatsoever without the approval of the executive body, the President and or the Patrons.
All expenditure and income shall be taken care of by the executive body and patron
Planning, registering and represent ABSAG @ TRATECH
Proposal for sponsorship for TRATECH (in consultation with the sponsorship committee)
Seek partners /companies for product promotion even after TRATECH
Ensure products safety (before, during and after TRATECH)
Shall render accurate and timely accounts to Patron’s and the executive body
All expenditure and income shall be taken care of by the executive body and patron
Notify students of available scholarship avenues and procedures of application
Workout for the possibility of exchange programs (local and external / international)
Draft proposals in time for sponsorships
Assist and possibly link students in securing scholarships available
Search out for companies with interest in ABSAG’s projects
If possible link firm to final year student’s dissertation / project works to how interest, patronage and support (seek elderly advice)
Seek sponsorships for all ABSAG projects and programs in consultation with the Project and Organising committee.
Shall in consultation with the executive body and patrons draw programs for the semester’s seminar and identify speakers for that matter.
Organise education and training in Accounting and statistical software and identify facilitators to that effect
Shall together with the executive body and organising committee organise educational trips with economy, interest, relevance and proximity as underlining parameters with respect to venue etc.
To link educational facilitators and firms to members of ABSAG to derive benefits of attachment and job placements.
Shall in consultation with the Editorial team or PRO bring to members awareness on ongoing seminars, conferences, symposia as may be organised by the University or the college or faculty or an external institution.
Together with the Sponsorship and scholarship committee, this committee shall link students to exchange programs be it internally or externally
Shall propose policies and reforms to better the yearly vacation training and industrial attachment placements. Thus shall gather reports from students after the attachment and vacation training
Shall advise the executives and convince facilitators of ABSAG education and training programs to award certificates to participating members in ay organised silver
Shall in consultation with the organising committee secure and prepare venue as well as all requisite material items for all seminars .
Ensure a successful and well-organised education and training programs