By Ronald Baluku Busimba
Engaging youth in agriculture has been a prominent topic recently and has risen up the development agenda, as there is growing concern worldwide that young people have become disenchanted with agriculture.
Reasons for rural youth involvement in non-farm activities and migrating to urban areas include the economic pull factors such as the perception of greater job opportunities due to the presence of industries or companies in cities.
Economic push factors include poor physical infrastructure and social amenities in the rural areas, search for education and skills acquisition, and the absence of desirable job opportunities.
Other factors include a general dislike of village life or expulsion from rural communities resulting from the commitment of an offense or crime. Research reveals that economic factors were the dominant reason for rural youths increased involvement in non-farm activities and migrating to urban areas.
Therefore, encouraging the youth to love and engage in agriculture activities as opposed to remaining in urban areas searching for jobs should be of strategic importance to the NRM Government.
This can be achieved through carrying out regular youth training and sensitization forums where Operation Wealth Creation and other government agencies would be able to reach them in their different communities to exercise her programs.
Despite the decline in interest for agriculture as a career, there are still some few young farmers working all over Uganda.
To encourage others to join the sector, it is vital that they are offered a voice, and that we take note of what they have to say.
Particularly this includes giving young farmers at policy level a chance to offer their opinion and experiences.
In this way, they can show other young people that farming can be a rewarding career as well as highlighting the important role of agriculture on a global scale.
In addition, youth who are currently into agriculture should be encouraged and honored so that others will take interest in agriculture. We can only reduce youth unemployment in Uganda through sustainable agriculture if we want to do things right.
The author is a youth advocate, Rwenzori Sub-Region.