The Uganda Budget 2011/12 highlights and puts forward a number opportunities that a young farmer must grab to improve his or her business.
- Join NAADS - National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) or the government agricultural body whose work is to increase commercialization of improved seeds and other planting materials.
- The Agricultural Credit Facility - eligible projects in agricultural sector to be financed at a preferential rate of 10% for a period of 10years!
- 9.5 billion allocated to strengthen disease & pest control
- 5 billion to provide irrigation & water harvesting technologies
- A youth Entrepreneurship venture capital fund established with DFCU bank to finance youth projects.
- Youth entrepreneurial training programmes to train youth in business management skills in your area. Enterprise Uganda, chamber of Commerce and Uganda small scale industries association are managing funds in this area. Nakawa Vocational Training Institute is to train youths in acquiring vocational skills.
- Job stimulus programme - 16.5 billion is allocated for this.
How can a young farmer utilize the budget opportunities?
- Register your agricultural business - this is one of the ways a business will be identified as being eligible to participate in any government sponsored agricultural programmes.
- A young farmer, find and follow up with the organizations or companies below to find out how you can get access to the youth support mentioned in the budget.
- Enterprise Uganda - To train youth in business management skills.
- Chamber of Commerce - select and work with Enterprise Uganda to transfer business skills. As a young farmer, you should make sure your business is part of the chamber of Commerce group in your area since they normally organize agricultural trade fairs & training workshops
- Uganda Small Scale Industries Association - An association of small scale industries offering training and market opportunities for produce.
- Nakawa Vocational Training Institute - to train youth in acquiring vocational skills.
- National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) - NAADS has programs in every district since they are promoting transfer of knowledge in using best farming techniques and the rearing improved animal breeds.
Get organized. Join or form a young farmers group in your area. Organized in this case means that your group has the necessary legal documents including a bank account, preferably in DFCU bank. The legal documents include but not limited to: a constitution; members and their profiles; regular meetings; valid office address; contact phone numbers; clear administration with chairman, secretary and treasurer.
As a young farmer, unless you have an agricultural business or farm you are actively working on, you stand no chance of coming near to claiming any of the opportunities towards the youth mentioned in the budget. Sitting by the road-side without doing anything waiting for these funds to come to your area is of absolutely no use.
The time is now to get organized and get the support you need to further develop your agricultural business that will eventually not only contribute to the well-being of the people in your family but to the entire community at large.
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