Experts urge Uganda on youth involvement in sustainable food development

agricultural productivity
agricultural productivity

Experts on Monday urged Uganda to fast track the involvement of youth in the agriculture value chain.

The experts were meeting online on the role of the youth in enhancing food systems, just days before the Aug. 12 International Youth Day, and in the run-up to a major United Nations food systems summit scheduled for September.

Jacob Eyeru, chairperson of the National Youth Council, said people aged 30 years and below comprise 75 percent of Uganda’s population and that 50 percent of those under 30 are involved in agriculture.

Youth involvement in agriculture could provide hope and a solution to the country’s youth unemployment crisis, he said, adding that the youth are more adaptive to new innovations and technologies critical in improving the food systems.

Agriculture needs to be made attractive to the youths and the youths need to look at agriculture as a business that can improve their livelihood, Eyeru said.

Antonio Querido, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) country representative, said Uganda’s youthful population provides an opportunity for labor force and a market of what is produced by the agriculture sector.

He said governments, civil society organizations, donor partners have the responsibility of defining the role of the youth in improving the food value chain.

The FAO is working with the Ugandan government to make agriculture more attractive to the youths, running the Youth Inspiring Youth in Agriculture Initiative, a project aimed at identify and recognizing successful young agripreneurs aged 18-35 from across the country, Querido said.

James Ebitu, director of social protection at the ministry of gender, labor and social development, said the government has lined up several programs through which youths can play a role in the development of the country through agriculture. Enditem

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