Masindi District Farmers Association (MADFA) has partnered with Enabel, the Belgian development agency, to empower youth in the district with skills in welding and fabrication of farm equipment like manual maize planters, maize threshers, maize hammers and irrigation guns.
According to Deogratius Akugizibwe, MAFDA’s Program Manager, while implementing their activities in the villages, they discovered that many youth are unemployed, have no land and cannot access finance.
“We decided to partner with Enabel to train the youth in different skills to enable them get jobs or create jobs. While we only wanted 80 youth to participate in the training, over 600 applied, which shows that many youth are in need of such services,” Akugizibwe explained.
However, he added, the training has been interrupted by COVID-19.
“By now they [youths] would be in the process of completing their training, but our programmes were significantly disrupted by COVID-19. But we are optimistic that were shall resume soon,” he said.
Akugizibwe says on completing their training, beneficiaries will be linked to some of the association’s partner organisations for industrial training.
“This one will be one way of marketing them. We also have partners like TULLOW Oil and others in the local community where we can link them,” he said.
David Katende, the Coordinator, MADFA, explained that the association had recently constructed a workshop that will offer vocational skills training to youths at a subsidized cost.
“Our students will walk away with international certificates meaning they will be eligible to work in any company across the globe. As MADFA we focus at opportunities that can help youth get employment. For example in the oil sector 16000 welders will be needed,” Katende argued.
MADFA is an association of over 300 farmer groups in both Masindi and Kiryandongo districts. Since its foundation in early 2000, it has grown to form the vibrant Masindi district Cooperative savings and credit society (MADFASACCO) with over 13,000 active members in the districts of Masindi Hoima, Buliisa and Kiryandongo.