KAMPALA – Gudie Leisure Farm’s (GLF) ninth spotlight has seen a total of 42,000 youth incubated in the Acholi region to equip young people with the necessary skills in the agricultural sector.
GLF is a social enterprise providing various agribusiness development services to especially youth-owned micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in the agricultural sector.
“We are very excited seeing the work that they are doing in this region, seeing the transformation they are making, and ensuring that they are all involved in an activity that keeps them busy and uses the opportunities they already have,” said Professor. Gudula Naiga Basaza, Founder and Managing Director, GLF during the spotlight on Monday.
She said that Acholi is one of the regions that have a very beautiful terrain and very nice land that is not only flat but also fertile which when utilized, youth can highly gain.
“Today as we put a spotlight, we have three major objectives. We wanted to put a spotlight on these youths so that people know what they are doing in their individual capacities. As a firm, we promote what we call production by the masses. Each one of them may be doing something small, but because they are together, they’re able to create a massive and bulk production that makes economic sense.”
She also commended the region’s culture noting that, “Of all the regions we have had Acholi is well gifted in dancing” which is also an opportunity for tourism exploitation.
? This Sunday we learn more about the beautiful customs of the different communities of the Acholi region and celebrate its vast talent!!!#Acoli #Acholi #culture #food #dace #art #History @VisitAcholiLand @IkotMartha @GuluWalkingTour @1Acholi @sk_bongomin93 @LoremiTours… pic.twitter.com/c7PP2P0X4b
— gudieleisurefarm (@gudie_farm) September 30, 2023
However, Professor. Gudula recognized one of the challenges affecting youth in the region as the past wars where many young people not only lost their parents but also trust.
“During the war, these were babies, they have now grown, some of them lost their parents, so they are starting. They’re also starting to trust. When you think about farming, some of the things we farm a long-term. If I’m going to plant a tree and I don’t feel secure, I feel that I’m going to run away, it is difficult.”
She commended the government for bringing peace which has enabled the youth in the region to invest in long-term projects which are most profitable.
Christopher Komakech – Aruu Country MP noted that the region is endowed with a fertile and large chunk of land, not because it is blessed but because it was virgin due to war in northern Uganda that lasted 30 years.
He decried that today, the civilized rich people from across the country are now taking advantage of the poor and the not informed which is why there are a lot of land conflicts.
“Now the poor are selling their land at a giveaway price for a basic need, which is okay because, at the end of the day, they have to survive.”
He commended GLF for empowering youth is knowledge.
“The youth in northern Uganda have been impacted with knowledge. I can confirm to you that these youths if they have heard and listened and learned, they are at the same rating as the ones in Central and Western Uganda and they can go actively cultivate their land and use it themselves.”
Through this, notes that the rich will not come for their land unlike when the land is just unutilized.
Mr. Jacob Ojok, Porongo LCV Councilor blamed the land wrangles in the region to the ignorance where parents give their children land that is not registered which attracts conflicts.
“For example, your grandfather gives you land and when he passes on overtime you can’t claim back that land. So this has been a challenge.”
He noted that as a district, they have come up with a structure and enacted a Local Government Act cap 243 to have a land management committee straight from a sub-county to the district land board that addresses the issue of land.
In his district, Nwoya, he noted that the challenge of unemployment is a bit tense because – attributing it to one for the 20 years we’ve been in the internally displaced people (IDP) camps which have kept the youth expecting free things.
However, he is optimistic that the intervention of GLF – training, equipping and making them self-reliant will help them overcome the issue of unemployment.