The second phase of the multisector assessment took place in three locations in Ikwoto County from 1st – 4th September 2016 and revealed needs among both displaced and host communities, all of which derive from the compound pressures of conflict on existing food insecurity. The current caseload provided by the RRC indicates that over 1,000 homes across the two payams assessed in Ikwotos county were looted and some 237 burnt during the July insecurity, leaving huge needs in terms of shelter, NFIs, seeds and livestock. There is a great number of IDPs in rural villages but their number is unknown. UNHCR reports that around 175,7781 people have crossed into Uganda, mainly from Central and Eastern Equatoria, since July 2016 and although exact figures of those coming from Ikwoto County remain unclear, discussions with communities found many families had crossed nearby border points.
Data collection was predominantly qualitative, undertaken using a combination of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), Key Informant Interviews and Household Interviews and direct observations across three villages encompassing urban and rural communities respectively within Ikwoto county (Ifune, Lotuhoyah and Momoria).
The assessment focused on looted and burnt villages and was conducted over four days by teams from CARE South Sudan, AVSI and Caritas Switzerland covering Food Security and Livelihoods, NFIs, Protection, Education, Gender Based Violence (GBV), Health, Nutrition and WASH. The team was accompanied by the Ikwoto County Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) County coordinator, and the County Deputy Executive Director. The assessment team members were the first humanitarian actors to assess these locations since the July crisis.
Agriculture must be trained to the youth as a vocation if food security is to be enhanced across the country. “If Uganda is to cement food security, youth must be given a reason to engage in agriculture,” Hans Peter van der Woude, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
He was launching a dormitory that will house youth being trained in agriculture at Agromax recently. He pointed out that if young people are trained into embracing agriculture as a business, then the future of agriculture will be bright.
The dormitory was constructed in conjunction with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, AVSI and the SKY programme. According to Samuele Otim Rizzo, Chief of Party, SKY, the programme identifies gaps in agribusiness entities and then builds their capacity to deliver marketable skills to the youth.
Uganda needs to empower the youth to fully participate in the coffee value chain to increase productivity and meet the 20 million bag target by 2020, a stakeholder has said.
Joseph Nkandu, the National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises (Nucafe) executive director, said while the Government seeks to boost coffee exports from three million to 20 million bags annually by 2020, this will not be possible without empowering the youth to tap into the coffee sub-sector.
“We need to exploit the energies and innovativeness of the youth to boost coffee production to the 20 million bag target by 2020. Producing 20 million bags of coffee means that you have created over 10 million jobs for other unemployed youth,” Nkandu said on the sidelines of the Gayaza High School farm camp recently.
There is a new coffee Bill in offing that seeks to preserve the quality and boost coffee production from three million bags, where it has stagnated for about 20 years.
Currently, coffee buying and selling is governed under the Coffee Regulation 1994 and Coffee Development Authority (CDA) statute 1991.
Uganda exported 3.56 million bags of coffee, worth sh1.17 trillion ($352m) in the 2015/16 financial year running from July 2015 to June 2016, according to data from CDA, down from 3.44million bags the previous year, estimated at sh1.36 trillion ($409m).
Nkandu added that there is also need to change the negative attitude the youth have towards agriculture and encourage them to pursue it as a profession.
The farm camp was organised by Gayaza High School in partnership with Nucafe, Food and Agricultural Organisation and AVSI, a non-governmental organisation, to skill students from 35 schools across the country in how to run sustainable agribusiness enterprises.
Organised under the theme: “Skilling the youth for agribusiness and selfreliance”, the camp sought to change the mindset of the youth in schools about agriculture through exposure to agribusiness and training them in scientific approaches to agribusiness.