By Judith Amusugut, StepFM /NECJOGHA
Mbale, Uganda – The agriculture sector in Uganda has abundant opportunities that could provide employment for youth across the country.
Kelly Cronen, the chief of party of Feed the Future, Uganda, said what is lacking is merely creating a mechanism that can provide potential areas for the youth to delve into.
She said the few innovative youth that maneuvered their way into becoming successful model farmers and agro-entrepreneurs ought to provide a platform that captures a broader youth community across the country.
“A platform where successful youth model farmers and agro-entrepreneurs narrate how they became economically empowered will stimulate the seemingly passive youth to change their mindset for the for the better,” Cronen said.
She made the remarks during a youth forum in Mbale recently held under the theme, ‘Breaking the mould and balancing the equation.’
The forum attracted representatives from Busoga, Elgon, Sebei, Bekedi and Teso sub-regions. It was organized the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The objective of the youth was to find avenues of making the youth who constitute the biggest percentage of the Ugandan population, economically empowered.
Barbara Katende , a financial consultant in her paper entitled Money Cure, said unlike most developing countries, the Government, through a number of interventions , had considerably reduced the levels of illiteracy. Katende, however, regretted that matters had been worsened by youth who inherited a lavish lifestyle.
“You find a young person coming from a financially privileged family spending lots of his parents’ money on buying an expensive car. That is the capital that could have enabled him to add value to some agro-products thereby providing employment to many other youth,” she said.
Gaudensia Kenyangi, the USAID youth programme specialist, said the forum was intended to fix the wrong mindset among the youth.
“The activism is intended to reassure the youth that even without corporate employment, all is not lost. They can drive forward into sustainable development if they tried out the agro sector,” she said.