Youth Call for Investment in Agriculture

Laban Musinguzi, the Executive Director of Agro Fresh Uganda, says that government needs to invest in training of youths on better farming practices to ensure good farm to harvest practices and also fund their investments in agriculture.

Audio 4

Youths have asked the government to increase funding in the agricultural sector.

Laban Musinguzi, the Executive Director of Agro Fresh Uganda, an Organization that unites youths participating in agriculture and agribusiness says that government needs to invest in training youths on better farming practices and also fund investments in agriculture.

Musinguzi says that as Uganda sets to join the rest of the world to mark the International Youth Day celebrated every 12th of August, it should show commitment and action by making deliberate efforts to attract more youths into Agriculture which is Uganda’s biggest export earner.

Musinguzi says that while the government has established programs that include the youth Livelihood Fund, Operation Wealth Creation and Emyooga, these are scattered initiatives with no deliberate target to youths in agriculture and agribusiness.

He wants the government to directly fund youths through offering grants but also make agricultural loans more accessible. According to the Bank of Uganda, interest rates on Agricultural loans is 12 percent annually but Musinguzi says that that is still high for youths.

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Musinguzi says that with training and funding, the quality of agricultural production will increase and raise the cost at which they can sell their produce.

Musinguzi also wants the government to organize youths in agriculture by registering them and their business such that it is easy to plan for them and market their products.

He says registration will enable the government to know their production capacity and seek a market for them both locally and internationally.

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The Chief Executive Director of Female Journalists in Agriculture Uganda, also an advocate of Urban farming Oliver Taremwa says the government should promote Urban farming especially among female youths who in many cases don't own land but can grow food in small quality in the backyard and on verandas.  

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Nurudin Busingye, the team leader of Smart Youth Network Initiative, a Non-Government Organization which seeks to promote the digitalization of agriculture says that government should exploit the knowledge gained by youths in Information technologies to promote Agriculture. He wants the government to work with youths to promote online marketing and shopping for agricultural products including food, farm equipment and fertilizers among others.

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The youths say deliberate investment in youths in agriculture will not only create jobs and also food security and safety in the country.

International Youth Day will this year be celebrated under the theme "Transforming Food Systems; Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health".