You are welcome to the Youth in Agribusiness Caravan 2017, the first of its kind in the history of Uganda. Organised with an overall objective of creating a platform for joint actions on motivating youth into agribusiness as a career and exposing them to lucrative benefits of farming as a business. Aware that; youth are an excellent source of ideas and innovations, involving them in the farming sector would very much contribute to not only boosting the economy but also attaining a population that is economically empowered, self-sustaining and thus leading to an improved quality of life and a sustainable development.
It is a fact that Uganda’s population currently stands at about 39 million people and growing fast and is expected to double over the course of the next 20 years. The bulk of this population however, is comprised of young people. Over 28 million Ugandans are aged below 30 years and an estimated 8 million of these are aged between 18-30 years. Less than 1 in 100 youth have been educated to degree level and a majority of them are either jobless (1 of every 5) and about 6 in 10 are self-employed (UBOS 2015). Therefore, the importance of improving the incomes of young people in Uganda’s agriculture sector cannot be overstated. It is also true that; Uganda is an agrarian economy, accounting for over 22% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employing over 80% of the country’s population, majority of whom are women accounting for 65% while the youth account for 35% of the country’s labor-force respectively (UBOS 2015).
Whereas Commercial Agriculture (in this case agribusiness) has been identified as one of the key sectors that can potentially generate wealth, with high employment potential (Uganda Vision 2040). The participation of youth in agribusiness is still low standing at 53%. This is largely attributed a number of factors and these include among others; limited access to key resources like; land, startup capital, lack of exposure and over emphasis on “experience” by the potential employers, limited access to role models and business mentors.
AgriProFocus therefore; in collaboration with like-minded organizations, that include; European Union, Agriterra, UHURU Institute of Social Development, Actionaid, Agrotourism, Buyanja SACCO, DARAS, Uganda National Young Farmers Association, TUNADO, Young Agribusiness Network, Adventure on the Farm (Adfarm) organized this Agribusiness caravan, in order to build a vibrant youth led agribusiness movement that creates employment opportunities, improves incomes and livelihoods, as well as promoting inclusive growth for a sustainable socio-economic and democratic transformation of Uganda’s agribusiness sector.
The caravan brings together 50 youth entrepreneurs drawn from the 4 greater regions of Uganda both female and male between the ages of 18-35, rural and urban, educated and uneducated, start-ups and progressive entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector. These are young innovators who are already passionate and motivated about their Agribusinesses and are ready to be change makers, role models, and agribusiness leaders in the drive to contribute to national campaign of Feeding the World-Changing Lives.
The caravan will also involve the media houses as the ear and eyes of the public who will move with us throughout the journey covering and featuring the activities at source. The caravan will then climax into a national high level policy convention, that bringing together youth leaders, agribusiness experts, relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Members of Parliament, research institutions, private sector, farmer groups, CSOs, the Cooperators and informal and formal agribusiness practitioners; International agencies and development partners to effectively engage each other in order to draw actionable commitments towards creating an enabling environment that supports youth in agribusiness development.
The Caravan specifically aims to;
- Motivate youth into joining the expanded employment opportunities in the Agribusiness value chains.
- Provide a platform for sharing information, knowledge and learning from real life experiences by the successful youth agripreneurs.
- Inspire the youth to appreciate the importance of forming their own and/or be a part of the existing farmer Associations/Cooperatives
- Provide a platform for joint advocacy actions and receive commitments from policymakers on issues that affect youth in the agribusiness sector for an improved policy environment.
This shall however be achieved through; peer 2 peer exchanges and learning from youth led agribusiness enterprises, exposure farm-firm field visits, and partnership with the mass media as well as creation of a platform for youth to interface with policy makers from relevant Government ministries, departments and agencies to influence policy actions towards addressing issues affecting youth entrepreneurs.
In this catalogue, it presents the following; the inspiration messages, program, the route map, profiles of the farms to be visited and learning areas, profiles of the organizers as well as the list of youth entrepreneurs participating.
THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF THIS YOUTH CARAVAN, 2017.