Uganda is home to the world’s largest youth population, with more than 78 percent of its total population below the age of 30. Although unemployment poses a challenge to this vast demographic, the agriculture sector is ripe with opportunity. It contributes approximately 26.3 percent to the country’s gross domestic product and drives food security. But youth underestimate agriculture as a viable career beyond subsistence, family-owned farming. Negative perceptions of agricultural livelihoods persist despite the sector’s variety of market-driven careers, from information technology to business development. So how can youth harness “agripreneurship” as a path to prosperity?
Agripreneurship is the marriage of agriculture and entrepreneurship. It creates an innovative space for youth to exercise managerial skills and business acumen, all while generating growth and income in the agriculture sector. But the journey toward a rewarding agricultural career is competitive. Each year, 400,000 youth enter Uganda’s labor market and compete for only 80,000 formal jobs. Without the skills needed to engage the evolving agricultural value chain, access to formal opportunities is limited.