Youth Development Project
More than two-thirds of Uganda’s youth work in the agricultural sector. However, only a very small percentage are in wage-paying positions as most are engaged as subsistence family workers without a salary. A growing population, land scarcity, climate change, and lack to accessing financing are just a few of the challenges young farmers in Uganda face when starting their agri-business from scratch. For these reasons, youth have developed a very negative attitude to agriculture and are migrating to bigger cities in search of more secure income opportunities.
Our Youth Development Approach supports youth in overcoming the challenges of being a young subsistence farmer and becoming more commercially skilled and engaged. Located in Mityana District, Central Uganda, the project worked with more than 1,700 rural youth. The main component consisted of bringing youngsters together in Youth Farmer Field Schools to learn about agriculture, acquire life skills and promote an entrepreneurial spirit in a participatory and experiential way.
Progress is highly promising. Youth are becoming more and more interested in agriculture. A majority has already started their own farm business and now seeks to diversify their income by exploring additional income opportunities. Several youths now offer agricultural services to their fellow community members, such as pruning coffee trees—a skill they learned in the Youth Farmer Field Schools. Many others have also become active in their local farmer organization and are advocates for greater inclusion of youth perspectives in their communities’ development. The project also promotes greater gender equality through the active work of couple seminars and youth change agents.
The most important thing that should be done about young people and agriculture is to help them being educated on diversification of income not looking at the garden only. This could be achieved with vocational and entrepreneurial training.Niishima Coldine (22)
Today, I am a proud coffee farmer and ICT expert. I am enjoying my life in the countryside and am very open to teaching other youth who are struggling in town. Let them come home and I share with them agriculture- and ICT-skills I have acquired.Sebulime Moses (27)