Ms. Dorcus Loga Okello; Faculty of Innovation Studies and Extension, Makerere University
According to Dorcus, educating young people in agriculture remains a challenge as most parents, mentors, teachers hope that when they take their children to school they will redeem them out of agriculture. Given the rate of Uganda’s population growth and owing to the fact that there are 3 major sectors with potential to employ young people – service, industry, and agriculture; investment in agricultural education is critical for economic growth.
The biggest challenge is that needs to be addressed is the attitude of the population towards agriculture. Evidence from Makerere University admissions shows that agricultural courses are nearly a last resort for students, in case of failed admission in other courses.
The Government and NGOs are increasingly realizing the importance of investment in agricultural education of young people and are working together with universities to improve the content and delivery of agricultural education. There are still a number of stakeholder acting independently, duplicating other efforts.
The challenge that remains is to ensure increased partnerships and collaboration for a joint approach to tackling the issues of skilling youth in agriculture.