A group of youths under the Youth Line Forum has urged government to invest more resources in the country’s food value chain.
Speaking in commemoration of the International Youth Day , Ruth Asiimwe, the Executive Director of the Youth Line Forum said the food system involves in the production, processing, transportation of food that she said need more investment especially from government.
“There is put significant attention to the future of food systems and this relates to the future of the young generation. With 60% of Africa’s population projected to be below the age of 25years, this means that the majority population of African countries is significantly young and therefore must be supported to be part of the food system value Chain,” she said.
“Today world agriculture is facing major challenges, including how to feed a growing world population, how to reduce rural poverty in the world, and how to manage ecosystem goods and services in light of global environmental change. In Uganda it is vital to talk about how farmers have been affected by conditions like drought and floods.”
According to Asiimwe, the deadly pandemic and its effects like the lockdown have also had a toll on the food value chain, adding that there is need for intervention.
“During the lockdown, prices for many food items were down. Farmers will with time stop to view agriculture as a source of income if they have no stable market and this will leave them in sheer poverty.”
“Our recommendation would be that, since government is the biggest purchaser in the market, it should support farmers who are stranded with agricultural products in the rural areas and then bring the products to the urban centers and sell them on a subsidized price.”
The Youth Line Forum urged government to invest in making a clear food system approach widely adopted to identify, analyse and assess the impact of the system on different sectors.
“Government should invest more in the human capital of Ugandans. The Ugandan population is largely a young population which is oblivion of matters to do with agriculture but also without capacity to afford what it takes to be active in the value chain.”
“The continued lockdown on Facebook and increased tax on internet is a sabotage to the potential market for the agricultural products. Therefore we beseech you the president to allow the legal operation of Facebook.”