Uganda has a population of over “44.47 million” people and according to a study in 2015, the country has about 48.1% of its population below 15 years of age which increases dependency and puts strain on food supply.
Uganda is currently hosting over 1,252,471 refugees making her the largest refugee hosting country in Africa and the third largest in the world (GoU and UNHCR, 2017). This demands for a large food supply thus placing a huge burden on the country that has a GDP per capita of 710 dollars.
The agriculture sector in Uganda employs about 75% of the country’s population, contributes about 20% of the GDP and about 48% of export earnings. However, only a tiny fraction of our national budget (below 5%) is allocated to the sector which leaves the poor without farming machinery and inadequate capital to purchase seeds for plantation. Also most of the country’s youths do not have any practical introduction to farming since they spend at least 7 years of their childhood attending primary schools that have no gardens.
Such a big population requires increased agricultural production, yet it puts more pressure on land, degraded soils, deforestation, and smaller gardens. (80-90)% of polythene bags are imported into Uganda and 73% of the wastes are plastics. This has serious consequences in that they slowly release toxic chemicals into the soil, pollute it rendering it unsafe for crop growth, with the unfortunate result being that animals eat them and often choke and die thus reducing dairy output.
VOLUNTEER IN ACTION (V.I.A) is a voluntary oriented organization based at Central College Mityana (a high school in Uganda). V.I.A mainly consists of students who come to fill the gap where it exists in the community in social and economic areas. We offer intellectual ideas, and voluntary service with the view to upgrade the lives of the people. Therefore at V.I.A we believe that though not everyone is capable of affording the life necessities, when we come together everything is possible because we hold our future.
In the Uganda agricultural sector, since the major crops grown are; bananas, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, and ground nuts which are highly affected by pests, we as the young volunteers come in and provide pesticides to the poor farmers using financial support got from fellow students. We also provide them with plantation seeds and educate the community about the better methods of farming thus increases productivity which copies up with the rapid growing population of Uganda. We also;
• Organize charity projects in and outside the school where we support the needy materially and doing for them what they can’t do.
• Have the Green-environment project which involves planting trees and encouraging the community to join agriculture thus helping the future generation.