KAMPALA – Gudie Leisure Farm (GLF), a social enterprise providing various agribusiness development services to especially youth-owned micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in the agricultural sector incubated a total of 300 youths from 50 parishes in the Elgon region.
The revelation was made by Professor. Gudula Naiga Basaza, Founder and Managing Director, GLF during the Elgon region spotlight on Monday.
Through the symposium held from the 11th to the 12th of June, Gudie Leisure Farm exposed the nation, and in particular its MSMEs, to not only the development opportunities that the region offers but also the strategies required to profitably and competitively harness them.
Operating in 10 regions of Uganda, GLF which has been in existence for the last 13 years has a reach of 112,900 youths who are value chain linked – transforming themselves, and their communities but also contributing to national transformation.
“In this region, we incubated 300 youths [who] went back and incubated over 10,000 youths who are all involved in farming and we thought that we use this month to put a spotlight on these youths and what they are doing such that people get to know what they are doing and they start partnering with us,” said Prof. Gudula.
“The youth are engaged in production and we are seeing ourselves moving into using technologies into adding value and we believe a partnership will be very important and at the same time, mutually beneficial,” she added.
In this symposium, Prof. Gudula noted that they have been able to look at the evolution of the region, the social norms of the region, and the economic opportunities that are there but also engage with the investors in the region who share with them their experience.
She interested the private sector to join them in the dream of the youths to achieve the national goal of fighting unemployment.
Mr Charles Oleny Ojok – Deputy ED National Planning Authority – commended GLF for the efforts, revealing that micro small and medium enterprises dominate about 1.1 million of the private sector in Uganda.
“So, Gudie Leisure Farm, you are part of the private sector, and I hope you constitute a proportion of this 1.1 million with 49% of them in services, including tourism, banking, business processing, and the like.”
Represented by Mr. Othieno Odoi – Senior Planner Trade and Tourism at NPA, Ojok rvealed that the private sector contributes about 75% of the gross domestic product and they employ approximately 2.5 million people.
The spotlight involved an exciting exhibition of the region’s rich cultural heritage through their fashion, music, dance, drama and the delicious food that they are popular for.
Professor. Gudula noted that the spotlight’s main goal was to facilitate sustainable development in the Elgon Region by promoting sustainable investment in its advancement by the private sector, especially in the districts of Bududa, Buko, Bulambuli, Butaleja, Kapchorwa, Kweni, Manafwa, Mbale, Namisindwa, Sironko and Tororo.
It was also aimed at stimulating opportunities to share fun and food with family and friends in a reflective and rejuvenating environment while building strong and lasting relationships with people with a very cultural background.