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Dutch Embassy In Campaign To Attract Youth Into Agriculture

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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By Prossy Nandudu

Although 75% of Uganda’s population practice agriculture, youth who form 24% of the population are reluctant to practice farming.

And yet information from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicates that youth unemployment in Uganda increased from 6.54% in 2021 to 6.58% in 2022.

The same report adds that 41% of youth that completed education, have no jobs.

This is why the Dutch Embassy through the Dutch-funded Skilling in Agri-preneurship for Increased Youth Employment (SAY) Project has embarked on a campaign to attract youth in agriculture for job creation.

This was revealed by Julius Turyahebwa, the team leader for AVSI Foundation Mbarara Field Office on Thursday while speaking to the press in Mbarara City.

He explained that through the project activities, they are aiming at making agriculture more attractive to young people, by showing youth job opportunities in agriculture, mindset change but also to give the youth solutions to the challenges in the agriculture sector.

Julius Turyahebwa, the team leader for AVSI Foundation Mbarara Field Speaking during the press conference.

To further engage the youth in the practical field, Turyahebwa added that in the western Uganda region, they have partnered with agri-institutions, the private sector, schools and juvenile homes through capacity building.

So far over 3,300 youth between the ages of 18-30 and over 1,150 youth aged 13<18 in secondary schools and a juvenile home in the region have been skilled in the agriculture value chain.

Between 2021 and April 2024, 1,243 youth have been skilled in self-employment creation and wage employment in the western region alone, he added.

An example is Machline Nayebare, the director of Makarena Juice who with support from the AVSI Foundation has trained 30 youth in healthy and marketable juice production and are employed at the juice plant.

On average, according to Nayebare, each youth is paid between sh300, 000 and sh500,000 a month.

Of the 30 youths trained under Makarena Juice, Olivia Katushabe has so far used her salary to invest in a popcorn machine to earn her extra income.

Atwiine Pison who started beekeeping after university, said the training has enabled him to train up to 100 youth in adding value to bee products.

From its inception in 2020 and implemented in the Northern, Eastern, Central and Western Regions of the country, partnerships have been cemented with 60 local agribusinesses and institutions of learning through the Dutch-funded project.

This is aimed at stimulating and building young entrepreneurs between the ages of 13 to 18, up to 30 years as a longterm career path to ignite them towards well-paying agribusinesses and self-run entrepreneurship, Turyahebwa added.

LEAD PHOTO CAPTION: Some of the participants who attended the launch in Mbarara on press conference. Courtesy photos

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