A Research Fellow from Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), Dr. Mildred Barungi has told the youth to embrace sustainable agricultural practices so as to yield tangible economic benefits.

Dr. Mildred made the call on 28th June 2017, during the launch of the Uganda National Young Farmers’ Association (UNYFA) at Uganda National Farmers’ Federation (UNFFE) offices in Kampala.

Mildred UNYFA Panel

“If the yields are low, we can only feed the families and not sale,” She said adding that the youth should practice sustainable resource use and avoid doing things the old way.

She warned that a share of households trapped in subsistence agricultural production remained at about 69 percent between 2002 and 2014, and this could increase if no concrete actions are taken to reform the agriculture sector. 

Citing the 2014 ATAAS data, Mildred noted that the proportion of cultivated land under sustainable agricultural practices that include: application of chemical fertiliser, animal manure, green manure, rhizobia, and irrigation were below 30 percent across Uganda. Mildred further stressed that land fragmentation, lack of protective gears as well as limited access to finance has limited youth engagement in sustainable agriculture.

 Mildred UNYFA

Phelix Kwemboi a member of Sebei Cooperative in Kapchorwa conceded that in the past they could harvest 4 tones of maize per hectare but today most farmers only raise 2 tones per hectare something he attributes to lack of sustainable land use practices.

Uganda National Young Farmers’ Association whose launch was themed “Agriculture and the Future: Role of Youth in this Green Gold”, started operations in 2016 targeting beneficiaries aged 12-39 years. It aims at grooming youth in agriculture for a sustainable economy through mobilization, training, networking and professionalization.

It boasts of 28 districts young farmers associations with structures at parish, sub county, district regional and national level. The association hopes to reap opportunities offered by projects such as “Skilling Uganda” by Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports and “Driving Youth-led New Agribusinesses and Micro-enterprises” (DYNAMIC) by GOAL Uganda & Restless Development International among others.

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