As part of the 5-day workshop on “Youth-led Sustainable Agriculture for Urban Food Systems in East Africa", the forty (40) young participants embarked on a visit to TAABU Cooperative. The participants are from Uganda, Kenyan, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. This training and knowledge-sharing workshop is organised by Rikolto, the Young Professional for Agricultural Development (YPARD) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. This training is among efforts to strengthen the capacities of young farmers in sustainable agriculture, enhance rural and urban linkages and contribute to urban food systems.
A glimpse of TAABU
At TAABU Cooperative, youth offer services in shelling and spraying for a living. Mr. Nashibembe William of TAABU Coorperative revealed that this initiative started in the year 2000 with thirty (30) members: twenty three (23) female and seven (7) males and was registered as Community Based Organization later in 2013. The entity now registered as cooperative has two thousand five hundred and eighteen (2518) members. Mr. William added that four hundred (400) of the members are youth within the ages of 18 to 35 years. According to the Chairperson, the cooperative owns twenty (20) acres of land whereas several farmers farm individually.
TAABU produces and stores seeds including improved maize and soybeans. The stores in this facility were built by Rikolto VECO in 2018 with support from Food Trade to support farmers’ bulking system and marketing among the farmer groups in the community.
John Ereng, the Agronomic Advisor to Rikolto VECO pointed out to participants that this helps farmers to do collective marketing, have access to finance, and reduce post-harvest losses. He emphasized that Rikolto as the organization behind the project continues to source for better markets for their farmers after harvest.
Channa Omar, a twenty eight (28) year old a resident of Blambuli District, lauded the Cooperative as Advocacy Champion supported by Uganda Cooperative Alliance for endeavoring to deliver on advocacy for farmers in their Community.
Participants of the Workshop on “Youth-led Sustainable Agriculture for Urban Food Systems in East Africa" also had the opportunity to visit the Maikut Farm. While addressing the forty (40) young participants of the workshop at the headquarters of Maikut Farm on Wednesday, Joel Cherp- a young model farmer who practices irrigation farming motivated the participants who visited his farm to keep their heads up in the agricultural sector and also advocate Climate Smart Agriculture.
This training and learning workshop was an exciting experience for me as a young agripreneur as I got the opportunity to interact with other young agripreneurs and learn good agricultural practices for sustainable production.
Photo credit: Rikolto