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  • on 19.09.2014
  • at 11:00 AM
  • by Kevin Hind

Uganda’s youth discover the beauty in farming 0

Kampala – Miss Uganda promotes the image of women in agriculture and encourages greater involvement in the sector among youth.

Before she entered the Miss Uganda beauty contest, 24-year-old Fiona Nassaka was a farmer.

“You grow your lettuce, you go and supply it to any market like Capital Shoppers [a Kampala supermarket] and you get your money at the end of the month,” says the young beauty queen who is also not afraid to get her hands dirty growing peppers and passion fruit, and through rearing pigs, rabbits and hens.

“As a young person getting your own cash from your own product, you become really proud of yourself,” she tells IPS.

Today the glamorous Ugandan woman is the reigning Miss Talent, having won that category of the national beauty competition ahead of the finals on Oct. 25. But Nassaka is first and foremost a farmer.

Now she’s encouraging other young ladies to move into agriculture through this year’s contest, which has a new theme, “Promoting agriculture entrepreneurship among the youth”.

The 2014 Miss Uganda pageant is particularly trying to recruit women aged between 18 and 25 into farming. There’s also a new, unlikely sponsor: the Ugandan army.

According to the State of Uganda Population Report 2013, four out of every five of Uganda’s 17.3 million women are employed in agriculture, the majority of whom work as subsistence farmers.

But Nassaka says many young women turn up their noses at working in the sector, despite the fact that youth unemployment is said to be as high as 62 percent, according to “Lost Opportunity? Gaps in Youth Policy and Programming in Uganda” by ActionAid International.

continue reading on IPS Africa

By Amy Fallon – IPS Africa

Photo credit: Flickr/DFID

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