UGANDA -National Planning Authority (NPA) of Uganda has launched several digital platforms to woo more youths into farming to boost their income and economic growth.

The platforms bring closer multiple service providers, ranging from input suppliers and insurance companies to financial services to serve and empower the youth.

NPA wants all technology entrepreneurs and organizations to embrace the shared platforms, for the full transformation of the agricultural sector into a profit-making venture for youths.

“Advocating for the digitalization agenda is crucial to attaining economic recovery, creating job opportunities for young people, and realizing the country’s sector vision by 2040,” said Charles Olweny Ojok, the Deputy Executive at the National Planning Authority.

“With these platforms, the end user is set to enjoy reduced costs of production that include operational costs and on the other hand make it easier for service providers to reach last-mile users in the rural communities who, for a long time now, have been left out.”

The launch is part of the Digital Economy Programme that Innovation Village is implementing in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation to enhance access to essential services, funding, markets, products, and employment for 3.4 million people living in far-flung areas across Uganda.

According to Ojok, the program aligns well with Uganda’s commitment to creating a digitally driven economy and realizing universal goals of inclusion, economic progress, sustainable development, and poverty eradication through digital transformation.

So far, in the agriculture sector, the Digital Economy Programme has made considerable progress in the value chain of most farmers by understanding their challenges in a bid to provide support by creating market-driven technology-enabled solutions that suit young growers.

Last year, the program studied the needs of 370 farmer-producer organizations with 650,000 farmers, of which 250,000 are young.

In the Digital Economy Programme, partners such as the Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFF) have come up with several interventions for training the farmers in marketing, financial literacy, business planning, and record keeping.

The program also provides capacity building to enable entrepreneurs to have the right skills to design and implement solutions that bring multiple service providers together to offer affordable seamless technology-enabled services to smallholders, especially the youth and women, and small business owners.

In addition, the program supports solution providers with building, testing, and refining high-impact sustainable solutions, finding more efficient and cost-effective ways to serve end users, with the main aim of taking solutions to market in a more effective way.

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