As a country with the world’s second youngest population, Unemployment among the youth between (18-30) at 64% (UBOS2012), over 400,000 youth entering labor market to compete for 9,000 formal jobs annually, the amount of job seekers is expected to triple to 48 million by 2040. With an economy that relies on agriculture for economic growth and food security, Uganda sits at a critical juncture and its path forward lies in creating cool employment opportunities along the agricultural value chain.
We work to end youth unemployment by creating cool employment opportunities along agricultural value chain.
We are currently working with 5000 youth in 15 districts of Uganda. They belong to 500 groups, each group comprises of 10 youth with 5 girls and 5 boys. After formation, we train them in group dynamics and organize them into village loans and savings associations.
We also equip them with skills in good agronomic practices, post harvest handling, climate smart agriculture, financial literacy and record keeping, support them with finance in form of inputs and provide market. We then store, add value and make an extra profit that we use to engage more youth.
We also support urban youth through value addition. We have a fully equipped value addition center where youth add value to coffee, mushroom and tomatoes and brand their products in their companies names for sale.
Young Farmers Champions Network selects youth by engaging local leaders. In every district, with the support of local leaders, we select 10 youth from all sub counties. These youth are organized into groups at sub county level with 5 male and 5 female.
After organizing youth into groups, we equip them with skills in group dynamics and after the group elects its leadership, we train them in financial literacy and record keeping and organize them into a village loans and savings group in order for the group to help themselves in case of urgent need among any of the members.
We then train them in good agronomic practices and post harvest handling, support them with finance in form of inputs and Provide market for their produce.
After buying produce from the young farmers, we store, add value and make an extra profit and this helps us to engage more youth and sustain our programs.
For the urban youth, we support them to add value to our farmers produce as an additional source of market for the young farmers.
These youth are trained in value addition for coffee, mushrooms, pumpkins and tomatoes and we enable them access our value addition equipment which they use to make their own products.
We also support these youth to get the necessary certification requirements for them to be able to access both local and international markets.
These youth pays back 4% from the profits made for purposes of maintaining and improving value addition equipment.
YOFCHAN has impacted lives of the young people in Uganda through attracting and engaging them in agribusiness; this has been achieved through a series of activities conducted within the last two years. We have conducted trainings to over 4700 youth in good agronomic practices, climate smart agriculture, group dynamics, financial literacy, record keeping and value addition, supported them with farm inputs, post harvest tools and market linkages to enable them practice farming as a business.
We have also supported over 300 urban youth to register their business, access our value addition facilities, add value to coffee, tomatoes and mushroom, package and marketing their products.
We have also conducted 24 monthly AgriJazz events where youth gather and showcase their agricultural products for marketing purposes and one young farmers awards.
Most organizations believe its hard to attract youth into farming due to youth limited access to land, finance and market and negative attitudes towards agriculture but for us, we understand approaches that appeal to the young people. We empower, finance and facilitate markets for youth to engage into farming as a business, offer cool extension services through social media and AgriExtension App to be launched soon, Annual young farmers football cup and young farmers awards.