In 2017, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) the government of Uganda approved the National Strategy for Youth Employment in Agriculture (NSYEA). This has been implemented with contributions from different stakeholders to achieve pillars of the strategy. Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other partners are working to facilitate youth employment options in the Agriculture Sector.
This has been a success through a series of engagements in implementing the different pillars/Thematic areas including, strengthening the enabling environment for youth, supporting youth-related agricultural extension, youth education and learning and mitigation of agribusiness risks. UNFFE using the National Strategy for Youth Employment in Agriculture (NSYEA) recently conducted a baseline survey to establish the extent to which youth in Uganda have been employed in agriculture, the survey also involved profiling youth interventions countrywide with an aim of mapping the initiative that supports youth employment in agriculture initiatives.
Since the establishment of the National Technical Coordination Platform, FAO in collaboration with the MAAIF, launched the Youth Inspiring Youth in Agriculture Initiative (YIYA) – a nation-wide competition aimed at promoting youth employment in the agricultural sector by fostering role models of youth agripreneurs. Through the YIYA initiative, 25 best youth agripreneurs were selected and awarded as Round One Youth Champions (YC) Award. The award package includes cash support and opportunities to attend technical training, exhibitions of agricultural products, and policy dialogues related to youth employment in agriculture and fostering role models of youth agripreneurs.
On 19th February 2021 UNFFE key stakeholders and partners recently organized a synergizing meeting at the National Farmers Leadership Center- Kampiringisa to plan for the YIYA championships coming in soon.
Over 100 youth farmer Champions will be awarded after the rigorous selection process by a team of carefully selected Judges with a reputable experience in the farming sector. Dr. Kamuganga Dick, the President of Uganda National Farmers Federation is the chief judge together with several experienced judges from Makerere University, Youth Organizations, Agricultural Organizations and Ministries, Departments and Agencies. These organizations have purposed to work towards facilitating youth innovations in agriculture.
This initiative is overseen by a National Technical Coordination Platform that was formed to support the implementation of the NSYEA strategy, by among others organizing knowledge and innovations sharing events including awarding events of good innovators to act as champions and inspire more young people in agribusiness.
Due to the success of the Round One of the YIYA initiative, the National Technical Coordination Platform expressed interest to replicate and upscale it into a national youth agripreneurs mentorship programme, aimed at inspiring the youth to engage more efficiently in the agriculture sector countrywide.