The Minister of State for Fisheries Hellen Adoa has today launched round two of the Youth Inspiring Youth in Agriculture Initiative competition (YIYA).
“Due to the success of the Round One of the YIYA initiative, the National Technical Coordination Platform is again inviting youth aged 18-35 years to take part in Round Two of the YIYA Initiative for 2020,” she said.
“The Youth champions will be acting as role models and agribusiness change agents to inspire a generation of youth agripreneurs to produce food, reduce hunger and create employment for other youth,” Adoa added.
Speaking to the press at Uganda Media Centre on Thursday, Adoa noted that the agriculture sector is a great source of employment to many youth.
“Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) has since 2016 embarked on sensitizing and supporting our young generation to join agribusiness because the public sector jobs available are very few and can only absorb all the graduates who enter the jobs market annually. It is estimated that over 600,000 graduates enter the job market every year,” she added.
She said that the model has proved to be successful and the Ministry would like to scale up the youth champions to become a national wide mentorship programme.
“This time, 270 youth agripreneurs (2 per district) will be selected, announced and awarded as youth agripreneurs at district and regional levels. The 270 youth agripreneurs will be subjected to further screening to select 135 district youth champions nationwide ensuring a gender balance of 68 female and 67 male youth. From 135 district youth champions, 35 national youth champions will then be selected,” Adoa revealed.
All the 270 district young entrepreneurs will be documented, recognized as national young entrepreneurs and provided opportunities to engage in peer-to-peer support activities with other youths.
The final 35 national and 135 district champions will get an award package that will include: opportunity to attend a week technical training at the NFLC training center, as well as an opportunity to participate in national exhibitions of agricultural products, and policy dialogues related to youth employment in agriculture.
Adoa added that: “In addition to the training at the NFLC training center, the 35 national champions will also benefit from other national and international training and policy dialogues.”
One of the winners at the YIYA first round Gerald Katabazi said that the YIYA competition changed his mindset towards different business ideas.
“The competition changed my mind and exposed me to other ideas that changed my life. It equipped us with business skills development. So I bought a coffee machine that has really helped me in my life. I sell each cup of coffee at 5,000 Shs; I earn a lot of profits according to the money I invest in buying and processing the coffee,” he said.
Katabazi urged those who are planning to join the second round to always invest more time in doing research.
“If you really want to win this competition, you must be very focused on value addition,” he added.