“TRACING THE ROOTS AND FINDING INSPIRATIONS”; OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTHS IN AGRICULTURE

Uganda is one of the African countries with the highest unemployment rate especially among the youths and it is obvious that agriculture is the first solution to unemployment which will also help in eradicating poverty common in most of the rural areas of Uganda even though the youths of today tends to divert from it.
I agree with Brian Tracy’s quote that, “it doesn’t matter where you came from. All that matters is where you are going”. But I do believe that sometimes it does matter to know where you came from so as to know where you are going; a better future or not.

The fact is that, I didn’t always like farming or participating in agricultural activities mainly because of the fact that I was born during the time of the conflict in the northern part of the country and grew up depending on the food distributed by the UN World Food Program and basically had no knowledge about agriculture or anything to do with farming.

But after the situation was settled, we had no choice but to stop depending and agriculture became our source of livelihood being it for food and school fees by selling some of the agricultural products like groundnuts and simsim and sometimes making use of the money got from selling local alcohol (breweries) made from cassava and bananas to fulfill our basic needs.

If I am to recall well, even joining secondary would have been impossible if not for the money we got from agriculture. So my inspiration for agriculture started after the conflicts and it continues to strengthen everyday as I am always seeing the benefits that are derived from it.

However, the young people and youths of today do not see the wide benefits of agriculture especially the ones who are educated and always tends to shy away from agriculture as they feel that they are meant to be doing white collar jobs.

But in a country like Uganda, not all graduates are able to find white collar jobs thus there is need for more involvement of the youths in agriculture and offering more agricultural vocational programs will help the youths gain skills required to be successful in various fields of agriculture and hence motivates them not to shy away from agriculture and agro businesses.

Youths therefore needs to develop good attitude towards agriculture because better opportunities do exist in it like providing a solution to unemployment, poverty eradication, school fees and solving other basic necessities of life.

So the question to farm or not to farm should not really be a matter of debate as there are more and better opportunities that exists for youths to prosper in agriculture and agro- business. They just have to trace their roots and find their passion and inspiration towards agriculture. “Agriculture being the back bone of Africa”.