Leaders in Lango sub region decry the poor mindset by youth towards Agriculture.

Published By UNNGOF |  May 12, 2020

According to the population statistics, the world population is projected to grow from the current 7 billion citizens to 9 billion by 2050. This means that there is need for more food to feed this growing population. Currently, 13% of the world’s population (815Millionpeople) suffers from chronic hunger while 8 million people die of hunger every year, in Uganda 8 million people suffer from chronic hunger/malnutrition and specifically for Northern Uganda, 50% (4 million) of the population are food insecure.

According to the state of population Uganda report 2012, Uganda’s demographic trend shows more than 50% of the population are youth and this has presented a challenge of unemployment and food security mainly because of their negative attitude towards agriculture. The growing world population as projected, presents an opportunity that the youths can harness in agriculture in terms of linking the youth to the various value chains in agriculture, financial opportunities and markets.

At a think tank held on Wednesday 31st July 2019 at Silver Peak Hotel Lira with leaders and technical staff in Agricultural institutions it emerged that there is evidence of negative attitude by the youth towards agriculture with claims that it is a dirty venture that doesn’t bring quick returns. This is further aggravated by the fact that youth can’t access land, financial services, lack information on various opportunities along the agricultural value chains. According to Mr. Francis Ongima from Lira Chamber of Commerce, the only way to attract youth to agriculture is through changing their attitude and mindset towards appreciating the value and opportunity in agriculture and its value chain. As an example, Mr. Tom Okello Onyii a model farmer in Ngetta shared how he sought early retirement from local government and took on agriculture full time. Today he is a model farmer with a company TAF ASSURED MIXED ENTERPRISES that offers consultancy services in Agriculture. Tom confesses that he earns ten times more than he used to while still sub county chief at Ngetta. It is such successful models that will inspire the youths into agriculture.

The government of Uganda is in the initial stages of NDP III formulation and one of the proposed strategic objectives is to increase value addition, production and productivity along the agriculture value chain. Agriculture being one of the key sectors of the economy has the potential to provide employment opportunities; it is on this basis that UNNGOF with support from ICCO convened this  think tank in Lira to start a conversation on how the youths can be supported to tap into the opportunities along the agricultural value chain. The event brought together key stakeholders from NARO, Local Government, NGOs, Academia and Media. The overall objective of the think tank was to bring together shared minds to explore ways/innovations along the value chain and how these can be exploited to contribute towards providing sustainable employment opportunities for the youth.