Youth Unemployment is fatal: 60% of Ugandans are unemployed, 90% are youths; 48% in rural areas migrate to cities for better opportunities, which are unavailable and thus end up in drugs, crime and slums. The agricultural sector has a lot of potential for employment, however many youth are not interested because there is no proper motivation, and the right incentives. This is where EYFI comes in.
EYFI offer basic business training, 1-year mentor-ship & free consultation to youth in rural villages, enabling them to create, develop & grow their agric businesses. Youth will learn about efficient farming techniques, managerial tools & business & marketing planning & management. To provide credit, EYFI will launched the Rolling Fund via partnership with NGOS, Uganda Bank of Agriculture & Enterprise Bank, with two credit lines to young farmers. EYFI will provide collaborative networks & technologies(remote sensing, GIS (spatial information system), drones, mobile technologies, Internet and bio-informatics), through EYFI Community Communications & Information Centers in communities that don’t have access to Internet or even telephone. EYFI will also build a social network for young farmers, where they will connect themselves, exchange solutions, access e-learning & tutoring models.
EXAMPLE: how the solution will make a difference
The agricultural sector represents so much potential but is so severely neglected that it is often hard for young people to get past the image of poverty and drudgery. However, in an economy that is unable to support the majority of its people, we must take a closer look at the agricultural sector as a source of employment.
Olushola, 26 years old trained engineer without a job or basic income, he returned from the Urban center to his village, where he approached EYFI Consultants, and immediate fall in love with fish farming. He was then trained by EYFI following pre-defined criterias, got a US$1,000 loan, and launch is fish farming business. He was immediately enrolled into the EYFI ALUMNI NETWORK where he continues to get mentor-ship for a year. Today Olushola is now exporting dried, packed, and branded fish into neighboring countries. He now has a US$430 monthly income. He brought his family to work with him and is expanding his business to new areas, such as Bee keeping and maize farming that is been sold to big companies.
SPREAD STRATEGIES: Moving forward
EYFI will focused on adequate selection and training of 80 youths per year, with 45% increase in numbers trained in each subsequent year. Approximately 800 youths will be trained in 5 years. Raise US$1000 for each youth in the first year as start-up capital for their business, with a 50% annual increment in operating capital over the 3 years for growth and expansion of the business. Each youth setting up a business that becomes sustainable by the end of 3-year. Approximately 700 independent businesses aimed to be established in 3-5 years, with each capable of employing 5 other people.
FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY PLAN: As an NGO, we hope to get support from donors through partnership/government agencies or direct support from willing international donors, and partnerships with financial institutions. Many organizations are working towards empowering young people and investing in the agricultural sector. So we will be leveraging on that to make EYFI sustainable. Income from such partnerships will ensure our financial sustainability. We are also looking out for different grants and competitions that we can win to acquire funds that will sustain out activities.
PARTNERSHIPS: EYFI`s foundation is based on the full partnership with community-based organizations, such as farmer`s associations, cooperatives, forums and non-governmental organizations, to mobilize farmers and youth and to develop social capital. So, we will engage and partner with 5 community-based organizations and two regional organizations in Uganda.
WHAT PROJECTS AND AGRIPRENEURS QUALIFY?
• The prospective agripreneurs have to be younger than 35, at the time of making inquiry at the center or responding to call for ideas. The project is open for unemployed youths and agripreneurs from any part of Uganda.
• EYFI will focus on wider domain of agriculture: crops, fisheries, forestry, livestock or sustainable management of natural resources in function of food security, or within the larger supply chain of these, like inputs (seeds, fertilizers,..) and value-added services and market access.
• The EYFI supported projects have to be concrete, viable and sustainable.
• It has to be clear what the actual seed funding will be used for.
• We will only fund projects from individuals or small entrepreneurial projects