Koboko – A selected group of youth from the Lobule refugee settlement and host communities in Koboko district have completed a two-month training program at Jabara Agricultural College. The training, which focused on modern farming practices in horticulture, aimed to empower unemployed youth, single mothers, and refugees by equipping them with skills in agriculture as a business.
This initiative, part of the Agriculture Market Support project, received funding amounting to $756 million. The goal is to enhance food security for both refugees and host communities through value chain promotion and improved agricultural practices.
Participants in the training, which included both refugees and host community members, gained practical knowledge in horticulture and farming techniques. The program aimed to address challenges related to food security, unemployment, and self-reliance among these groups.
Swaib Asiraf, a resident of Jongule village in Lobule sub-county, expressed how the acquired skills have positively impacted his life and family. Brian Alafi, a refugee from the Lobule settlement, chose watermelon, tomatoes, and cabbages as his enterprise and believes this new skill set will supplement food rations and enhance their food support.
The reduction of food rations prompted refugees to explore alternative income sources, and the training is expected to bridge the gap. Participants not only learned about efficient farming methods but also gained insights into managing agricultural enterprises as businesses.
The challenge of land shortage remains an issue for refugees seeking to engage in large-scale farming. Many are forced to rent land from host communities for farming. The skills acquired through the training are expected to help participants overcome such challenges and become more self-reliant.
Daniel Amule, the program officer for the Agriculture Market Support project at ACAV, highlighted the potential of this initiative to divert youth from negative activities like drug abuse and encourage them to embrace agriculture as a sustainable source of income.
Hope Abalo, the Program Associate Agriculture Market Support with WFP, encouraged participants to focus on cultivating and selling vegetables to boost local economies and contribute to their communities’ wellbeing.
The training program represents a step toward improving food security, economic independence, and resilience among both refugee and host communities, demonstrating the transformative power of education and skill development in addressing complex challenges.
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