YAP Proposal #164: Commercial farming and value addition for youth (Okwir Denis, Uganda)

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The Youth for Life organization was founded in 2010 with a vision of creating a self-sustaining community. Youth for Life aims to attain a self-sustaining community through enhanced community participation in development, free information sharing, income generation empowerment (vocational skills, promotion of high value crops and animal husbandry), safe water, sanitation, environment preservation and conservation, humanitarian relief, health (HIV/AIDS, malaria control, reproductive health, safe motherhood) and other related development activities.

I am Okwir Denis, 32 years old, from the northern part of Uganda. I am Project Coordinator of Youth for Life Uganda. I have extensive experience in rural development and participatory community-based development using adult learning and training techniques.

I hold a degree in Social Work and Social Administration from Makerere University, a diploma in Social Work and Social Administration from Fountain Head Institute, Lira, a diploma in Human Resource Management from London Institute of Business Management, Lira, a certificate in Project Planning and Management from London Institute of Business Management, Lira, a certificate in Public Administration and Management from Makerere University, and a certificate in Field Extension Work.

The key idea of this proposal is commercial farming and value addition for youth, involving distribution of maize, ox ploughs to begin the process of opening up the land and planting and weeding the crops up to the harvesting period.  Implementation will be through mobilisation and selection of the youth to form a savings and loans association.

Training in entrepreneurship skills development and installation of an agro-processing plant will enable the youth to make value additions to their crops. They will bring maize for grinding and hulling at the agro-processing plant, learn about marketing and promotion of the products and by-products of maize, undergo monitoring and evaluation based on monthly staff project reports and receive quarterly Board of Directors council and technical reports from field visits made by our field officers.

Gaps that need to be tackled are identified in weekly group meetings and forwarded to the executive director, who tables it to the quarterly meetings of the Board of Directors council after collecting all information from satellite centers.

This is the only way youth can improve their economic viability. Youth who are involved in growing maize and rice within their respective areas will supply raw materials to the agro-processing plant centre which will be called the Centre of Excellence for Youth. The Centre will be the referral point for income generation and empowerment via growing high-value crops. By distributing high-value crops and ox ploughs to the beneficiaries they will be able to generate savings and loans associations to enable them to tap into funds from other financial institutions.

We have mapped the areas of operation within the community where our targeted beneficiaries are located. We have done this with the local government officials from the sub-county of Lira. They promote the image of the organisational activities within the community.

Our budget tracking methods and financial control occurs in partnership with local council leaders and sub-county leaders, and we create linkages between training institutions, trade associations, the informal sector and the beneficiaries. We strengthen community-based skills training as an effective and viable approach to improve income generation activities and enable continuous capacity building in management skills, finance and resource mobilisation.

The budget breakdown is divided as shown into three phases in accordance with the implementation of the project over 10 months.

Phase One: 3 months
Amount: $2000
Activity: Distribution of improved seeds and ox ploughs to 50 youth for value addition.

Phase Two: 4 months
Amount: $500
Activity: Formation of 50 savings and loans associations.

Phase Three: 3 months
Amount: $2500
Activity: Installation of agro-processing plant.

Blogpost and picture submitted by Okwir Denis (Lira, Uganda) – youth4lifeuganda[at]gmail.com

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #164 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.


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