By Our Reporter
Kampala: YALTA, an initiative hosted and implemented by the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Uganda in collaboration with; Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in Eastern Africa (KCOA), Advocacy Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture (ACSA), Central Archdiocesan Province Caritas Association (CAPCA), Community Integrated Development Initiative (CIDI), Uganda National Young Farmers Association (UNFCVP) has organized a National Youth in Agroecology Caravan 2021. Whereas the caravan follows the overall objective of gaining practical knowledge, skills, and approaches through peer–to–peer exchanges and learning from youth led agribusiness enterprises. It will also include strategic field exposure visits and climaxing with a Youth in Agroecology Symposium.
Mugisha Richard the YALTA Uganda Country Manager said the caravan will introduce youth to the principles of agroecology, practical skills as well as agroecological business development.
“It will also support knowledge transfer through sharing and learning from real-life experiences of successful and scalable agroecological business models,” said Mugisha.
He explained that the caravan will also provide a platform for interactive policy dialogue on issues that affect youth in agroecology in order to achieve an improved policy environment.
The caravan will bring together 40 youth (from the 4 greater regions of Uganda), male and female aged between 18-35.
The initiative will support rural and urban, start-ups and progressive entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector especially those involved in the production, value addition, agro-input supply and agro-processing.
Mugisha explained that the caravan targets young innovators, marketers, youth leaders who are already passionate and motivated about their businesses and are ready to be change-makers in developing sustainable and scalable agroecological business models.
“The caravan is 5 days learning journey for 40 participants aboard. However, because of the insecurity and safety issues around the COVID-19 crisis, we will make sure that social distancing and other SOPs are carefully adhered to. To this effect, therefore, the Caravan will be structured in the following ways” he said.
Mugisha explained that the engagements will include live streaming on Facebook and other platforms. “This media engagement is aimed at building momentum of the Caravan. The Social Media Ambassadors and influencers 4AE: This team will throughout the Caravan keep updating the public and featuring the activities at source,” he said.
Strategic Field Visits And Exposure
These will be visits to pre-selected field farms/firms where Agroecology is vividly practiced. The field visits are aimed at imparting practical skills and knowledge on AE, and business and at the same time gathering issues that will inform the Youth in Agroecology Advocacy agenda.
National Youth in Agroecology Symposium: The Caravan will climax into a National Youth in Agroecology Symposium in Kampala at Hotel Africana. This will bring together stakeholders in Agroecology, academia/learning institutions, Government ministries, agencies and departments, media, the private sector and the youth among others.
This is aimed at reflecting and drawing specific policy recommendations to government and relevant stakeholders on strengthening youth in agroecology and their contributions to the sustainability of food systems in Uganda