Decent Rural Employment

ICA Uganda: 2020 updates


In Uganda, ICA started its operations in 2015 and is coming to a close in 2021. Let’s take a little step back and review the latest achievements of the programme!

Key sector strategy

Approved in 2017, the NSYEA was developed with ICA support under the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). ICA provides continuous support to the NSYEA Technical Working Group for implementation and monitoring of the strategy. A progress assessment undertaken by CURAD and UNFFEE (with an interactive online baseline mapping developed by Ensibuuko) will inform the development of the NSYEA Action plan for 2021-2022.

Youth priorities have recently been mainstreamed in Uganda’s National Development Plan (NDP III) Agro-industrialization programme and in the Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan (ASSP III) as a result of dedicated youth consultations organized with the National Planning Authority in Northern, Eastern, Western and Central regions of Uganda.

Technical support

  • Youth Inspiring Youth in Agriculture awards

Following a successful first edition, phase two of the Youth Champions Initiative was launched by FAO, MAAIF, and the Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development (MGLSD), with support from two youth organizations (YOFCHAN, UNYFA). The best 270 youth agripreneurs (2 per district-one young man and one young woman) will be awarded at district and regional levels; following additional screening, 135 Youth Champions (50 % female) will be selected as national champions and receive training at the Uganda National Farmers Leadership Center (NFLC).

  • Decent jobs for youth in the coffee sector

Through the study Coffee value chain analysis - Opportunities for youth employment in Uganda, FAO gathered evidence on opportunities and constraints for youth employment in the coffee sector, suggesting strategic upgrading options and policy actions to maximize youth participation. The study adapted the FAO’s Sustainable Food Value Chain framework to specifically address decent rural employment issues.

Informed by the study, FAO developed a project proposal with a Consortium of 5 partners, including a commercial bank, a youth-led cooperative and an agribusiness incubator, to mobilize resources for promoting decent jobs for youth in the coffee sector while increasing overall value addition. Stories of young coffee producers supported by ICA were also shared with ICO for the International Coffee Day 2020.

COVID-19 response

Following a rapid assessment with youth organizations, ICA supported the organization of national multi-stakeholder dialogues on youth-sensitive responses to the pandemic, a mask campaign and the development of standard operating procedures for agricultural value chain actors on how to protect themselves at work.

Find out more on COVID-19 response in ICA countries 


  • Public sector: Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Ministry of Gender Labour & Social Development (MGLSD), National Planning Authority (NPA)
  • Development agencies: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Financial institutions / funds: Uganda Development Bank (UDB), Opportunity Bank Uganda Limited (OBUL)
  • Private sector: The Consortium for Enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development (CURAD), AFRIPORT, Kayunga Coffee Cooperative

Youth networks

 Young Farmers Champions Network (YOFCHAN)

 Young Farmers’ Federation of Uganda (UNYFA)

Intra-FAO synergies

  • FAO Agrifood Economics Division (ESA): Coffee value chain analysis; Youth Coffee promotion campaign in Kasese and Masaka and organization of the 2020 Youth Coffee Day;
  • FAO Migration Team, Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender equity Division (ESP): Youth champions and youth agripreneurs in the coffee sector selected and supported to pitch their projects to an audience of diaspora investors at the Ugandan Diaspora Agri-food Conference  
  • FAO Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation programme (FIRST) project: Veterinary Drug policy review and formulation. The ICA project, together with the ESP child labour team, supported the analysis of occupational health and safety (OSH) issues in the dairy sector, which informed the provision of technical support during the review of the veterinary drug policy (forthcoming)



What’s cooking for 2021

  • Training of the 2020 cohort of Youth Champions will be conducted at NFLC in January 2021
  • Piloting and formalization of linkages between Youth Champions and financial institutions to support youth access to finance (ongoing discussions with Uganda Development Bank, Opportunity Bank and UNDP "Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility")