Youth in Agriculture


Meet entrepreneur RICHARD OBUKU. He gives me hope that Uganda’s future is bright. Richard is a knowledgeable, hardworking and successful agri-business entrepreneur who is truly an inspiration.

His enterprise is located in Gulu, in Northern Uganda. I had the privilege of purchasing and partaking of his chicken and it was absolutely fabulous. It is my mission to ensure that every time am on location in Lira or in Gulu I will try to purchase his products.

When I visited with Richard, a couple of months ago, he freely shared with me how his business is doing:

250 birds per week is our minimum – our slaughter range is 250 to 300 birds per week. The extra 50 caters for walk in customers. The 250 covers our regulars.

We have a few hotels that pass by and come and pick. We supply mostly Doves Nest Hotel. We supply Boma Hotel as well; and Binen, a local restaurant.

We have two staff members at the shop and on the farm we have eight – full time there are five and the three come to work based on demand. If we have to mix feeds then we need extra heavy weights, for example.

Our chicken looks different because we use specific concentrates meant specifically for broilers and that is 30 percent of the feeds. The rest of the feeds is made locally with soya bean as the source of the protein for our birds.

We try as much as possible to avoid so much drugs on our birds. In the last three weeks of raring we never use any drugs.

We always make sure of our bio-security – very few people as possible visit our farm – that is why we located our farm out of town. Few people on the farm reduces the risk of diseases introduction.

If I accept the concept “The Youth” as applied to Ugandans, then I do so as it applies only to young persons such as RICHARD OBUKU. I had the fortune of first meeting this young man as one of the employees under my charge in CPAR Uganda Ltd. He was employed as an agronomist for an externally funded agricultural project and he did a great job.

The project under which he was recruited was terminated, prematurely, because of the ill-administrative-manners of the implementing agency through which the funding partners channeled grant funding for supporting farmers to actively participate in the development and the maintenance of viable agricultural crop and animal value chains.

It is young Ugandans such as Richard that I aspire to work with in developing and implementing realistic grassroots innovations. And I pray that Richard and I will be able to work together again soon for the benefit of poor active farmers of the greater Northern Uganda.

If only those funds that are being sunk into interventions, like Operation Wealth Creation, were invested in facilitating the likes of Richard to share their knowledge and expertise, using business models in which extension services are privileged, Uganda would truly achieve the steady progress that we desire.

Featured photo credit: @richobuku on twitter. Richard Obuku with “Eddy Morris, one of Uganda’s best farmers 2015, on skilling youth on cage fish farming.”

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