By Robert Edwomu
A Non-Government Organization AVSI foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries alongside other development partners has launched the ‘SAY’ project in Eastern Uganda aimed at training youth on skills.
The Four-year project running up to 2022 will see over 2,000 youth trained on Agribusiness and Entrepreneur skills in an attempt to produce successful entrepreneurs and create job Opportunities.
Ralmlah Nabbwegamu, the team leader AVSI ‘SAY’ project Eastern region says the project is aimed at training both school students mostly those in higher institutions of learning and in their Final years and dropouts interested in getting skills.
She notes that none segregated program will offer soft skills for entrepreneurs and Agribusiness.
Hellen Musimenta, third year Agric student in Arapai Busitema campus and beneficiary during the launch in Serere National Research Center yesterday 21st Oct 2021 applauds AVSI for the initiative.
She noted that the knowledge, skills, networking and financial assistance attained impacts a lot in changing their livelihoods as youths as well as provide an enabling platform for job creation.
Edward Tanyima, the National Coordinator for Migration and Youth Employment in Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) country office says together with the AVSI, Ministry of Labour and Agriculture they are working on a program dubbed (YIYA) Youth Inspiring Youth in Agriculture to be rolled out as national program implemented across the country.
YIYA is a youth initiative program which identifies and recognizes successful youth agripreneurs aged 18-35.
This comes as 270 youth agripreneurs who were selected and competed at district and regional levels were awarded as role models that can inspire other youth to join the sector through knowledge-sharing, capacity building and mentorship.
Yafesi Ogwang, Assistant Commissioner Agribusiness in the Ministry of Agricultural Animal Industry and Fisheries states that the ministry has various programs designed to eradicate poverty.
He however said the ministry is finding difficulties in helping the youth because Young people are scattered as opposed to groupings.
He further noted that attitude and mindset change has equally affected youth’s participation in most of the ministry projects aimed at making youth rich.
Mondo Kyateka, Assistant Commissioner in charge Youth Affairs in the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development warns the youth against engaging in marrying many Women if they want to prosper and escape poverty.
He said that the biggest challenge Young people have is mindset change which they want to embark on to create a change amongst Youth.
He says one cannot have a viable business entity with a number of Women and children due to numerous challenges and responsibilities it comes along with.
Kyateka claims that the majority of the youth use the little money they make from agriculture for luxury projects that don’t sustain their future.
He points out that 21.4% of the population in the country live under the poverty line which number is highly contributed by the Youth.
The Ministry is focusing on fighting poverty citing that poor people are not recognized even in burial contributions apart from collecting water, firewood and cooking.