In May 2018, P’KWI was one of the first cooperatives in Uganda to attend a Youth Kick-Off Workshop facilitated by Agriterra. As they highly acknowledged the importance of youth involvement in agriculture, it was just a matter of time until the cooperative established its very own youth council. During its existence, the youth council members have faced many challenges; Covid-19 being the most recent and disruptive one.
The pandemic caused the Ugandan government to take precautionary measures among which the travelling and commuting restrictions had the greatest impact on the agricultural sector. Not only did it cause a decline in labour force on the farms; the majority of the youth in small towns operated as drivers of motorcycle taxi’s; commonly known as “boda-boda’s”. This business was heavily affected because of movement restrictions and social distancing measures. Even when the restrictions were taken off, the drivers were limited to cargo transport only.
The Youth Council of P’KWI cooperative saw this situation as an opportunity to engage the youth to become productive in these challenging times. As the Agriterra Youth in Agribusiness Programme had learned them how to mobilize youth and how to set up projects, they were motivated to find local solutions and opportunities for the youth in P’KWI in these challenging times. They managed to motivate the young people in P’KWI to deliberate on strategies to address these challenges and drive the agricultural sector.
Following on this, one of the activities initiated by the youth council has been the hiring of 5 Acres of land for sunflower growing. With support from the cooperative, the youth have been supported with inputs such as seeds, which they have planted on the hired land. Through their cooperative, the youth are assured of the market linkages.
Just like sunflowers who turn their heads towards the sun, the youth turned their heads towards new opportunities in difficult times.