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(Recast) Roundup: Experts call for Ugandan youths to grasp opportunities in agriculture to confront pandemic

XINHUA NET 2021年09月08日 报道 浏览次数:

编者按:9月8日,新华网英文网站以《(Recast) Roundup: Experts call for Ugandan youths to grasp opportunities in agriculture to confront pandemic》为题报道中乌南南合作项目,其中接受采访的Peter Muyimbo来自乌干达,是我校国际发展与全球农业学院2020级留学生,他是中乌南南合作项目的项目协调员。Muyimbo参与的是“中非 1+1”农业合作留学生硕士项目,项目于2020年正式启动,学生来源广泛,包括来自国际组织、政府部门、相关企事业单位等各行各业的管理人员。“中非1+1” 农业合作留学生硕士项目将中国发展经验与国际农业和农村发展实践相结合,旨在培养全球农业治理和农村发展管理高层次人才;是推动国际发展合作,推动中国发展经验国际化,服务国家重大战略的重要举措之一。本网对相关新闻予以转载,以飨师生。

KAMPALA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Experts have stressed the significance of the agricultural sector and encouraged the Ugandan youths to seize opportunities to improve their life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Agriculture is an important sector and there is a lot of money to be made. I believe that the Ugandan youths can get a lot of opportunities in agriculture in different commodities, value chains for them to realize their dreams," Antonio Querido, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) country representative told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Querido said the youths need to consider agriculture as a business that can improve their livelihood.

A new World Bank report published recently showed that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers in the African country lost their jobs because of the devastating pandemic that forced businesses to close, which has pushed up the unemployment rate.

Many of them resorted to agriculture and exploitation of natural resources to fend for themselves and families.

At a rice farm run by Chinese firm Zhong Industries Limited in the central Ugandan district of Kalungu, over 1,000 employees from different parts of the country did not lose their jobs during the pandemic, said a local manager Isaac Ocen.

Querido said the government and other stakeholders should guide the youths to appreciate modern agriculture which is different from the "hand-hoe" agriculture practiced by their forefathers.

"We have more technology, more use of sophisticated machines like drones. The focus has to be on the business side of agriculture, how we manage to do agriculture that looks at what the market needs, and the return on investment will be high," Querido said.

The FAO expert also said a resilient agricultural system is critical for ensuring food and income security even when pandemics like COVID-19 hit.

With support for the youths, Querido said, they can be critical labor forces that can revolutionize agriculture to increased food supply and ensure income security.

Peter Muyimbo, an expert at Uganda's Ministry of Agriculture told Xinhua that several projects have lined up that the youths can embrace to improve their livelihood.

In the new financial year which started on July 1, Muyimbo said, Uganda and China have started the third phase of the China-Uganda South-South cooperation project through a tripartite agreement with FAO.

Through the project, small scale farmers in rural Uganda will benefit from the on-the-farm training to boost production. Chinese technicians and experts will continue to share skills and technology on the agronomic practices with local farmers. Local youths can take advantage of this project which could create a complete value chain with access to the market.

At the end of the second phase of the project in 2017, about 3,000 farmers were trained in cereals, horticulture, aquaculture and livestock in Uganda, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

The expert said Uganda can learn from China on how it transformed its economy through agriculture and dragged millions of people out of poverty at an unprecedented level.

"It is important that this population (youths) is lifted out of poverty. China has done it in the past 40 years," Muyimbo said.

Ocen said many youths who learned running rice farm from the Chinese have started their own farms because they have gained the skills of planting and harvesting the crops.

The sector has given them an opportunity, he said. Enditem

XINHUA NET Sep. 8th, 2021

 

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