Youth Development Initiative Limited (YDIL) is a private, profit-making company which was started in 2013 by a group of youth under 35 (agricultural finalists) at Bishop Stuart University. It was started as a way of job creation with little pocket money savings and some small handouts from parents.
It works by giving services to people through the raising and selling of good-quality seedlings, project planning and management, and marketing of agricultural produce in Mbarara district. Later the project offered consultancy in tree planting and management, and advice for both crops and livestock, which raised some capital for the expansion of the project. In 2014 the board sat and agreed to register it as a company for services in agriculture and livestock production value chain in Uganda with its offices in Mbarara.
The project has targeted the increasing demand of rice both locally and internationally, which has substituted bananas and cassava. These were devastated by banana bacterial wilt disease and cassava brown streak disease. Our goal is to increase food security through production of high-quality rice, as the current demand for rice in Uganda is over 225,000 tonnes, of which only 165,000 tonnes are locally produced.
This creates a deficit of 60,000 MT and even more for export. We work with partners and communities to prevent further spread of food insecurity and mitigate the consequences. We empower them through voluntary advisory services in improved and modern agricultural technologies to will create a country free from food insecurity and unemployment.
The company has rented 100 acres of land for two years. The land has three water dams and the farm has a tractor, tractor-trailer, and a road network. These will ease implementation of the services and project management.
The project is expected to produce a minimum of 13 tonnes of rice on ten acres of land in the first season, and in subsequent seasons will use the remaining acreages. The area receives bimodal rainfall and it is in the lowland area, which normally floods during heavy rains, and hence is good for supporting rice production.
The project will use farming operations and activities friendly to ecosystems, as the company has qualified staff equipped with agricultural skills, knowledge, and information. It will also provide opportunities for youth living with HIV/AIDS and those with disabilities to be involved in the project activities, such as planting, irrigation, weeding, harvesting, and drying.
The company will use rice seeds, which are approved (certified) by the national seed certified agency, or the ones produced by researchers at JICA (Japan international cooperation agency). This will focus on promoting farming as a business by establishing a role-model farm, empowering the youth through training, so that they can actively participate in modern farming practices.
It will enhance useful planning and self-reliance in the community, especially amongst the youth, increasing people’s incomes through the creation of jobs, production of quality rice seeds for increased productivity, and national self-reliance. And the project has planned to recruit and train farm workers, conduct agronomic activities, like land-clearing, cultivation, planting, weeding, spraying, harvesting, drying, processing, packaging, and marketing; as well as supervision of farm activities.
The project has a plan after this project to become the rice seed multiplication centre, since the workers will have developed the necessary skills in rice-growing and management. This will be done in conjunction with JICA’s regional rice research centre for East Africa, situated at Namulonge and the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).
The project will be headed by a project coordinator assisted by head of projects planning, monitoring, evaluation, and fundraising and programmes manager post-harvest handling, agro-processing, value addition, and marketing with the efforts of permanent and causal workers.
The company has already cleared land and needs support for preparation, inputs, management and transport and communication and we would like to share budget with you.
In March 2016, logistics department will purchase project inputs worth USD 700.
In March 2016, land will be prepared by field manager, the driver worth USD 650.
In April 2016, planting, field management, and supervision will start by both permanent and causal workers, field manager, and directors at a cost of USD 1,000.
In March through July 2016, project inputs and harvested produce will be transported by transport manager and driver, and this will cost USD 500.
In July 2016, rice will be harvested, dried and processed and this will cost USD 1,800 by workers and machine engineer.
Thank you for your interest in youth development initiative limited (YDIL) about increasing food security and value addition.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Tweheyo Edward Kacere (Uganda): ydilprojects[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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