Betty Aromorach, 28, is slowly transforming into a financially independent young woman with several business enterprises. A resident of Nyanza East Village, Wol Sub-County in Agago District, the mother of two is now engaged in commercial agriculture as a business.
Uganda Youth Engine (UYE)
“I previously just grew some sorghum on a small piece of land in my community,” Betty recalls. “This would hardly be enough to feed us. This was due to my lack of knowledge in agriculture – the reason I never progressed in whatever I did.”
In early 2022, Betty heard of a new GOAL project known as the Uganda Youth Engine (UYE) that was rallying rural young women and men to engage in income-generating activities within the cassava, soybean, and sunflower value chains in Northern Uganda. This would facilitate a market system change to enable 3,500 rural young women (70%) and men (30%) between the ages of 18-35 years to access dignified and fulfilling work in Uganda.
“I was privileged to have attended a number of trainings in areas good agronomic practices, disease and pest control, post-harvest handling, climate-smart agriculture, financial literacy, and business development skills as delivered by the project Community Market Agents,” Betty says. It was after the training that she chose her enterprise as that of soybean production.
Refusing to Give Up
However, due to a prolonged drought in early 2022, her soybean was affected. She only harvested 2 bags out of the expected 12 bags of soybean from the 1-acre piece of land she had prepared.
Despite the setback, she sold the 2 bags of soybean at 280,000 Uganda shillings each (about $74 or €70) and fetched a total of 560,000 Uganda shillings (about $148 or €138). She reinvested this money by purchasing 2 pigs, 2 goats, and some chickens. Today, her pigs and goats have both multiplied to 5, while the chicken flock has reached 40 birds.
To further diversify her business, Betty also invested some of her money in buying silverfish, which she sells at the local market. This has enabled her to start saving with her local Village Savings and Loan Association (Lacwec Cullu Kwok VSLA group). “I can now comfortably take my children to school, pay hospital bills whenever they are sick, and be able to feed my family well without starving like before,” Betty says, smiling.
Betty plans on planting 5 acres of soya this season and has already purchased her seeds. She hopes to yield about 60 bags, but this is dependent on weather conditions. “I really thank GOAL for introducing me to this project and pray that they continue with the initiative so that the lives of other young people can equally be transformed like me,” Betty says.
You can support GOAL’s work in Uganda with a donation today.