The Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) together with Mastercard Foundation Uganda have partnered with Mukwano Industries Limited, to support youth and create 50,000 jobs across the agricultural value chain over a period of five years.
Mr Simon Kasyate, the spokesperson of Mastercard Foundation Uganda, said the intervention is intended to skill Ugandan youth.
“The Young Africa Works Strategy in Uganda is a 10-year initiative by the Mastercard Foundation aiming to enable 3 million young Ugandans people, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work,” he said.
He was speaking at the partnership launch held at the Mukwano Industries manufacturing plant in Industrial Area, Kampala, on Tuesday.
PSFU as the anchor implementing partner through the Lead Firm Structure Project will create a total of 300,000 work opportunities in sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, and construction and housing with 70% of the beneficiaries being young women.
Francis Kisirinya, the acting Executive Director of PSFU, said the project seeks to give priority to government, which is the backbone of the economy, as well as manufacturing.
“If there’s anything that has become more apparent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that health and agriculture are key industries we need to focus on considering the demand and readily available market, which, if strategically addressed, will enable us do away with prevailing challenges such as youth unemployment,” he said.
Mr Kisirinya revealed that under the Lead Firm Structure Project, they are partnering with top firms in the agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality sectors to utilise the opportunity gaps identified across the value chain.
“We have so far on-boarded 17 out of 80 lead firms- Mukwano being the 17th. We are excited about the partnership with Mukwano Industries Limited because with this, we will be able to make measureable and lasting impact in Uganda,” he said.
“We call upon all firms with the potential to create dignified and fulfilling opportunities for the youth to join us in this initiative to build a sustainable future for our young people,” he added.
Through the partnership, Mukwano Industries Limited will train small scale farmers on good agronomic practices and post-harvest handling practices.
Gadhoke, the CEO Mukwano Industries Limited, said: “Throughout the Mukwano Industries Limited agricultural value chain, there is a Shs251 billion economic opportunity for the youth to tap into the supply chain within Uganda alone as producers, suppliers, and providers of different services in the supply chain”.
He added that currently, Mukwano Industries Limited is only utilising 40% of the available plant capacity due to inadequate grain supply of sunflower and soybean.
“This means that over Shs175.5 billion in economic value, enough to employ millions of youth in this country, is lost every year in the agricultural supply chain which this partnership will rectify,” he explained.
The project will be implemented Amolatar, Oyam, Apac, Agago, Pader, Omoro, Alebtong, Kole and Lira districts.