Youth in Uganda are currently the largest in number totaling to over 70%, and the second highest unemployed in the world. Their demand for employment from government is wanting yet the government has fewer jobs that can only consume a small number of them. Many of them end up roaming the streets endlessly searching for non-existent jobs and turn to playing cards and gambling. Even university graduates often work as night guards and street vendors for lack of a better choice. As a result, most of the food consumed in Uganda is being produced by the elderly who continue using archaic traditional methods, leading to low productivity and food insecurity. To reverse this trend, agriculture should become attractive to young entrepreneurs
The government has tried many measures to revive rural economies and attract young entrepreneurs. Among other interventions, it introduced better yielding crops, started reforms in agricultural education, improved access to micro-finance and services delivery including extension, granted tax waivers, reduced tariffs on farm inputs, and launched a Shs.25 billion Youth Entrepreneurship Venture Capital Fund as well as the “Prosperity for All” Program. The Plan for the Modernization of Agriculture (PMA) emphasizes the role of the private sector in agriculture and provides for a greater role of local governments in reviving their local rural economies.
In spite of all this, so many young people shun Agriculture. They tend to think that traditional farming methods have a negative image and do not appeal to young people who consider it a poor man’s business that requires hard dirty work and barely provides a decent living. This is also reflected in the education system where agriculture is never the first choice and where teachers often use agricultural activities to punish undisciplined children. Moreover, agriculture in Uganda is mostly non-commercial, done by poor subsistence farmers far from the youth’s ideal of the successful businessman. When they nevertheless consider business opportunities in agriculture, too many bottlenecks remain for them to take the initiative. The youth have justifiable excuses as; inability to access land, start-up capital/finance, climate change, market to mention but a few, our role to create an enabling environment and interpret opportunities for the youth in a bid to make it cool attractive and business for the youth