The outgoing Miss Uganda for Northern region, Ms Sharon Auma has called on young people to embrace agriculture as a business instead of looking out for only white collar jobs.
“We need to change our attitude, the way we look at agriculture as a poor man’s enterprise. This is something we can take on as a job,” She said.
This was during a workshop organized by Miss Uganda Foundation in collaboration with Uganda Biosciences Information Center- an information hub of the National Agricultural Research Organization, on 16th June 2015 at Wallville Suites in Gulu town.
Auma shared her experience of being a beauty queen as well as a farmer saying her initial interests were never in agriculture, as she perceived it as a profession for the old and village folks.
She however, said, “My attitude changed when I chose to participate in the Miss Uganda contest of 2014/ 2015 where the theme had a keen emphasis on agriculture.”
The beauty queen says she realized that the fashion industry was directly connected to agriculture, as cotton and silk garments were all agricultural products.
She revealed her involvement in vegetable growing and poultry rearing enterprise, which she said were starting to pay off well.
The workshop was also graced by the former Miss Uganda North 2013/2014, Ms Judith Acayo who as well shared her experience of doing agriculture as a business.
Acayo urged the youth not to be derailed by thinking of huge startup capital, but rather to start within their small means.
She testified how she started with only two pigs, but now has over 20, yet she still did her fashion business.
“Rearing pigs has not taken away my looks. You can be a farmer and still remain a beauty queen” Acayo said.
Participants at the workshop included youths from Gulu district, with majority being female students from Gulu University.
The youths appreciated the organizers of the workshop and called on for more engagement with the young people.
The Gulu university guild speaker, Mr. Emmanuel John Namasa requested for a more of such workshops to reach out to more youths in Northern Uganda.
The workshop ended with a presentation by a representative from Uganda Biosciences Information Center, Mr. Nassib Mugwanya who talked about agricultural innovation, entrepreneurship, and prospects for the youth.
Mugwanya noted that about 70% of Uganda’s population was below 35 years of age, with key implications for agricultural productivity.
He asked the youth to have a positive attitude towards agriculture, and to take advantage of the advancement in agricultural technologies for improved livelihoods.
The day climaxed with a local radio talk show on Choice F.M, where the beauty queens shared their experiences with the wider community.