Gayaza High School Inspires Girls into Agriculture Top story

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In short
The banana garden owned by the senior-five class’ is one of the outstanding crops in the garden. The five-month old dark green suckers are perhaps the most promising of all the farming enterprises at the school. Each of the growing suckers has the name of the planter inscribed on a timber signpost besides it. A count of the growing bananas will tell you the number of the girls in senior five.

Engaging youth in agriculture is now top on the global development agenda at the time when young persons are becoming more disenchanted with agriculture, a sector that employs 68% of the population in Uganda and supports millions of livelihoods across the country.

Uganda is among the countries with a high youth percentage of young unemployed but disenchanted with agriculture. A research conducted by the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) last year indicated that youth engagement in agriculture is declining amidst rising youth unemployment

Economists also fear that this may have implications on food security, unemployment, and underemployment and may undermine the government efforts to drive economic growth through agriculture.

Now Gayaza High School, the oldest girls’ secondary school in Uganda has devised means of encouraging the girls mainly coming from wealthy families to engage in agriculture as part of their education path.

The school according to Ronald Dungu, one of the brains behind the idea recently discovered that almost all the students lacked basic skills of how the crops consumed in the country are cultivated or how animals are reared.

Samuel Jagwe, the farm manager at Gayaza High School says they were amazed to find that even girls coming from families owning hundreds of cows hardly knew anything about rearing and milking.
 
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On the basis of this, the school has revived its farm that had been redundant for most of the 100 years of its existence. It is also encouraging the girls to take on compulsory agricultural skills after their classwork. The girls are taking skills in animal and crop husbandry and poultry management among others. They are also involved in mixing dung for the school’s biogas unit.

Rose Wanyana, an agriculture teacher says just few months after the agriculture practical was introduced for all classes; the girls are ‘falling in love’ with the farm animals and crops.
 
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The banana garden owned by the senior-five class’ is one of the outstanding crops in the garden. The five-month old dark green suckers are perhaps the most promising of all the farming enterprises at the school. Each of the growing suckers has the name of the planter inscribed on a timber signpost besides it. A count of the growing bananas will tell you the number of the girls in senior five.
 
Else Adoch, Senior three student at the school, is a member of a group of girls that cultivate amaranth (dodo ) as an income generating venture while at school. The amaranth she and colleagues cultivate is sold at the school. The girls later share the profits on receiving payments.
 
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Gayaza High mid this August brought together over 160 students and 53 teachers across the country to encourage them to take on agriculture entrepreneurship venture in their schools. So far reliable sources say Nyakasura Schools in Western Uganda is in advanced stages of a similar venture.