We are shining the spotlight on a true champion of agriculture. Meet Ms. Samalie Namata, our dedicated administrator at the Young Farmers’ Federation of Uganda. As a pioneer member and driving force behind the federation’s success, Samalie’s journey from a teacher to farmer is a true inspiration. With a passion for bananas and a heart for empowering young farmers, she’s been instrumental in shaping the future of agriculture in Uganda for over five years with us.

What has been your experience in our company culture.

As an administrator at the Young Farmers Federation of Uganda, I’ve had the privilege of being part of the organization’s growth and development over the past five years. As one of the pioneers, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to shaping the company culture and values. My experience has been enriching, with significant growth in various areas, including: Organizational management whereby I’ve developed skills in ensuring the smooth daily operations of the federation, I’ve honed my ability to effectively communicate with members, staff, and stakeholders. I’ve successfully organized events like the Agri business tour, AGM, and PTM meetings. I’ve gained experience in budgeting, financial planning, and problem-solving, enabling me to find innovative solutions and improve organizational processes.

Overall, my experience at the Young Farmers Federation of Uganda has been rewarding, and I’m proud to be part of a team that supports the growth and development of young farmers in Uganda

What’s the day to day of your role like?

As an administrator  I work with all departments like administrative, accounts and projects etc therefore my work /responsibilities  would likely be  diverse and dynamic and that’s why I am a full time employee – working from Monday to Friday  8:30am – 5:00pm since I have to check and respond to mails from UNYFA members, stakeholders and other staff, making and receiving calls from members to coordinate with partners or follow up on going projects therefore that’s why I have to report to office on a daily basis. I organise staff meetings every Monday, partnership meetings in case of any.  I also work on various projects with project officers in helping to organise training materials like markers, flip charts, note books etc to be used during the training.  I respond to queries from members and staff by providing support, resources and also addressing any concerns or feedbacks. I organise logistics for upcoming events like workshops/ trainings through booking venues, calling /inviting participants to participate in the event etc.

What has been your biggest accomplishments on our team?

I have been able to organize successful trainings on; education, leadership, personal development, business entrepreneurship and programs like the International Young Farmers Exchange programme (IYFEP), ECAWA – rural women exchange program among others which have significantly improved the skills and knowledge of young farmers, leading to increased productivity and sustainability in their farming practices. I have also successfully planned events like the UNYFA Annual General Meetings, UNYFA agribusiness tours, and the National agricultural show in partnership with National farmers federation. This has attracted significant participation and provided valuable networking and learning opportunities for the young farmers. Participating and organising youth campaigns / food security competitions which have enabled us to engage more youth in agriculture, which resulted into an increase in membership and active participation in the UNYFA activities.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations within the organization

Being one of the pioneer members of the federation, I have some people who have really inspired me to love agriculture for instance, the founders and executives, the CEO of UNYFA, Mr. Denis Kabiito, Mr Charles Ogang, the former president-Uganda National Farmers federation (UNFFE). These people worked so hard for the establishment of the Young Farmers Federation and have led it with a clear vision and passion for empowering young farmers and driving agricultural development. The support from administrators like the program’s manager- Mr Magezi Samuel, project officers especially Mr Wandera Joseph all these are among the pioneers who started UNYFA in 2015- up to date. My inspiration is also drawn from dedicated UNYFA members like Sembabule DYFA, Masaka DYFA, Oyam DYFA and Maracha DYFA whom we started with in developing organization documents like the constitution, strategic plan and many other documents. Successful young farmers like the roles models who have successfully implemented modern agricultural practices and they have achieved a remarkable productivity.

Which benefits are your Favorite and why?

I have gained a lot of benefits from the federation and will start with education and trainings which gave me access to most of the ongoing training programs and educational resources like financial management trainings, leadership trainings, personal development trainings, lobby and advocacy trainings, training on gender trajectory etc all these have helped me to acquire new knowledge in different sectors and also helped in supporting my career growth. I’ve received mentorship opportunities by experienced personnel in different sectors which has provided me with career guidance, support, valuable insights in agriculture sector to develop my career professionally.

The flexibility in work schedules like working from Monday – Friday from 8;30am – 5;00pm. I am free on weekends which allows me to balance work with personal commitments, reducing stress and increasing job satisfaction. The health insurance UNYFA provides every year to all her employees is also another benefit on my side whereby we all have access to the necessary medical care services from different hospitals/ clinics and this has helped me reducing absenteeism and enhancing productivity. Monthly salary payments, the organization usually pays us in time like every 25th of the month and all workers have to receive their salary and latest is 30th of the month, this boosts morale and fosters a positive working environment. The staff saving scheme and NSSF which contributes to retirement saving plan, this really helps us to plan for our future and provides long- term financial stability. Finally, the team work and building activities, these regular team building events and social activities have really strengthened relationships among colleagues, fostering a collaborative and supportive workplace culture.

What’s the most unique part about working with the young farmers.

First of all, mere working with youth is so unique whereby they are so creative in problem solving by bringing fresh minds/ perspectives, they also bring creative solutions to traditional farming challenges, their willingness to think outside the box leads to innovative approaches in crop and animal management, resource use and business operations. By working with the young farmers, I play a role in shaping the future of agricultural industry, supporting their growth and development also ensures that the next generation of farmers is well -equipped to handle future challenges.

Compiled by Oscar Kakande