By Oscar Kakande

The Young Farmers’ Federation of Uganda (UNYFA), staff led by the CEO, Denis Kabiito, UNYFA’s President, Richard Semwanga, conducted interviews for the 25 shortlisted applicants for the International Exchange Programme (IYFEP) cohort 9 from May 7-8, 2024.

The project aims to empower young farmers in Uganda through hands-on practical experience and exposure to global farms and global farms and food systems especially in Germany. It is done by UNYFA in partnership with Schorlemer Foundation of the German Farmers’ Association (DBV) and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

 The applicants had a briefing session about the IYFEP programme that they applied for which was led by the CEO. He revealed that one of the opportunities of the programme is that it helps to break cultural barriers, ignorance and stereotypes on both the Germans and Ugandans.

“We have already taken more than 110 young farmers from all parts of Uganda and its always their first time to travel and 55 Germans have been apart of this exchange programme. Sofer, we have had 8 cohorts already a team has gone to Germany. This apprenticeship is for all young farmers in Uganda.” said Kabiito.

Kabiito observed that when the applicants successfully go through the interviews, a group of 12 Ugandans out of the 25 that applied will have an all-expenses trip to Germany for the exchange programme.

IYFEP applicants writing their exam.

Background

Since October 2019, UNYFA, together with its partners, has organised 8 cohorts for the International Young Farmers’ Exchange Programme with over 110 participants. IYFEP is a 3-month internship program for all young farmers in Uganda who would like to have exposure to and further understanding of global farms and food systems, especially in Germany. German farmers are also hosted on the Ugandan farms to learn about tropical agriculture.

The qualifying Ugandan participants have an all-expenses paid 3 months stay in German by Schorlermer Foundation of the German Farmers’ Association (DBV) with special support from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The program promotes education, training and exposure among young farmers through hands-on experience and cultural integration between Uganda and Germany.