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Uganda youths undergo training on fruit and vegetable value chain

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Subregional Office for Eastern Africa is partnering with Agricycle Global Inc. in order to train youth groups and refugees in Kenya and host communities in Uganda to enhance the development of fruit and vegetable value-chains.

They will be working on capacity development for youth on fruit and vegetable value chain development; od safety standards and fruit and vegetable-related agribusiness; documentation of youth empowerment business models; transfer of knowledge and skills for the adoption of technologies and equipment for fruit drying; and publishing of best practices.

This partnership will enhance access to market, solar driers, technology and also expand the capacity development training on quality control of their produce. It will also contribute to daily income and livelihood, provide employment opportunities and reduce food wastage.

Since the youths constitute a large portion of the population, David Phiri, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Eastern Africa and Representative to the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa acknowledged the agreement, because it will create employment for the youths which is the key area of focus.

“In order to address issues such as rural exodus, unemployment, and food and nutrition insecurity, it is critical to engage and invest in youth, and this is a priority for the subregion. In this regard, collaboration with Agricycle Global Inc. would add value given its unique business model, and its local presence in the targeted areas of FAO projects,” Phiri underlined.

Josh Shefner, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Agricycle Global Inc., on his part, said his organization is a social enterprise whose objective is to eradicate extreme rural poverty, with a focus on offering women and youths market-based solutions to food waste. It is offering markets for dehydrated tropical fruits and vegetables and fruit flours and supplying the youth with technical knowledge and skills on how to use dehydrators and other equipment needed for fruit and vegetable drying in a safe condition.

“Women and youth have been historically excluded/discriminated against in the agricultural value-chain even though they have an important role to play in the agri-food systems. Agricycle is here to change that, to include them, empower them, and break barriers by investing in inclusive economic growth. Our collaboration with FAO will play an important role in ensuring we deliver on our promise to be part of the fight towards ensuring rural women, rural youth, and refugees are economically empowered, able to make decisions and knowing that they are seen,” stressed Shefner.

FAO engages with the private sector to bring about transformative change and innovation, as well as measurable, sustainable impact and benefits, to meet its aspiration of Leaving No One Behind through sustainable, inclusive, and resilient food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life. This partnership will scale up collective multistakeholder efforts, and bring about country-owned and country-led innovative solutions to help target groups improve their livelihoods.

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