The innovative initiative is empowering thousands of young people with smart agriculture techniques, financial literacy and linking them with profitable markets.
Helping each other
“GOAL has helped us be organised in groups. We are 15 members in Akonyi Kori Womens Group,” Susan says. Akonyi Kori means “Helping each other.” The group’s name reflects its spirit with members intercropping soya beans and cassava crops on a 10-acre piece of land. To reduce costs of labour, the women support each other from land preparation, weeding to harvesting.
Agriculture is key
Uganda has one of the world’s youngest populations in the world. According to the World Bank, more than 75% of Uganda’s population is below the age of 30 and at least 13.3% of them are unemployed. Agriculture is a key source of income, employing over 70% of Ugandans. Young people like Susan make up 50% of workers and contribute approximately 37% to Uganda’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The Uganda Youth Engine (UYE) programme
With funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), GOAL teams are working with participants in four sub counties of Agago namely, Kotomor, Adilang, Geregere and Wol. 3,715 young people are set to take part in the programme, 70% being women.
As part of the UYE programme young farmers are receiving invaluable training and support in production and processing. Sustainability also plays a crucial role in programme. The benefits of using quality seeds are heavily promoted to raise the nutrition consciousness, enhance food security, and support sustainable agricultural livelihoods. Support is also provided to improve young farmers ability to save funds, build credit and access loans to re-invest into their projects.
In addition, GOAL teams are working to strengthen partnerships between local young farmers and seed producers. The future now looks brighter for thousands of young farmers.
Reducing costs for farmers
As part of the programme participants are receiving subsidised seeds at a reduced cost. With many young farmers struggling to gain capital the support has been transformative. With quality seeds, the young farmers are hoping for better yields this farming season marked by the onset of rains in the recent weeks.
One such hopeful farmer is 23-year-old mother of two, Joan, who has one acre under soya beans and cassava in Geregere sub county: “With the various trainings on agronomic practices and the post-harvesting handling that I was able to receive, I expect better yields this year.“