Creating opportunities for young people in Northern Uganda’s agriculture sector

Research reports and studies
July 2017
Alexandra Lowe and Sanyu Phiona

Agriculture is central to the employment prospects and well-being of most Ugandans: 70% of employed Ugandans work in agriculture and the sector contributes 26% to gross domestic product. However, the sector is underperforming compared with the rest of Uganda’s economy and its growth has not kept up with the population growth.

Young people are a key part of the solution to increasing agricultural productivity in Northern Uganda. The sector holds many opportunities for young people to break the cycle of low-productivity farming, increase their earning potential and contribute to the national economy at large. While agriculture can be a very lucrative business in Northern Uganda, young people struggle to access opportunities due to access to finance, education and extension services, gender and damaging perceptions.

This paper explores the realities of young people’s livelihoods and their transition to adulthood in rural Northern Uganda. It seeks to shed light on how and why young people find employment in the agriculture sector, to determine the obstacles they face and to highlight the opportunities available to them.

This paper is published by the Youth Forward Learning Partnership, led by the ODI's Research and Policy in Development programme. Youth Forward supports young people in Ghana and Uganda to get jobs, grow their businesses and access finance to expand opportunities available to them. The Learning Partnership works to develop an evidence-informed understanding of the needs of young people and how the initiative can best meet those needs.