Banana Fiber Extraction

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Evidence reveals that youth engagement in agriculture is declining amidst rising youth unemployment yet the services and industrial sectors despite growing at considerably faster rates have not created enough jobs for the burgeoning youthful labor force. This has implications on food security, unemployment, and underemployment and may undermine the government efforts to drive economic growth through agriculture.

Youth un-employment is one of the major policy challenges facing Uganda’s economic growth and development. Uganda’s Economy heavily relies on the Agricultural sector which employs

59% of the working population (UNDP, 2015) of which 63 % are youth, mostly in rural areas where agriculture is the major economic activity (NPA, 2015). In Uganda, many youth remain unemployed or underemployed, while others are absorbed in the informal sector characterized by low quality working conditions, unstable earnings and job insecurity. With Uganda’s population growth rate of 3.2 %it is no surprise that there is a very high proportion of young people and that it is a challenge for them to find gainful, secure and decent employment especially in the rural areas. This is partly attributed to low access to, and control over, productive resources (especially land) as well as limited knowledge and skills in modern farming techniques. A majority of the youth are engaged in small income-generating activities such as motorcycle “bodaboda” riding, brick making, petty trade and service sector work and will be reluctant to invest in agriculture. With the population growth rate likely to stay high, and even increase, it has become increasingly urgent that ways are found to engage with this untapped labor force.Uganda is the second largest producer of bananas after India with about 9 million tons produced annually. All this production creates tons of waste in form of stems and stocks. These are returned back to gardens to rot. But the stems and stocks can be turned into fiber and used to produce different products which you can sale and earn a living from. However, inadequate use of value addition to banana waste in Africa, particularly Uganda has led wastage and taken away the right income people would get. Women and girls make 85% of Uganda's agricultural population with bananas as main crop grown but they are still left in poverty for low economic growth affecting their performance, lack of self-motivation and not fulfilling their potentials.

 

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