By Sy Uganda
Kampala: President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the NRM presidential candidate said youth can only become rich if they are engaged in wealth creation but with a proper calculation.
The NRM presidential flag bearer made the remarks during a meeting with youth leaders from Kigezi at Nshwere Primary School in Kiruhura District.
“I was born in Ntungamo and by 1966, I had started realizing there was a big problem with our people who were nomads and used to move from one area to the other with their cattle. Their solution for diseases and pest was to run away from one place to the other with their livestock but in 1966 I held a meeting with them and they understood the problem,” Museveni said.
“When they understood the problem, they stopped moving and copied what the government stock farm in Mbarara was doing.”
The President who was speaking in the local dialect told the youth leaders that in order to solve the problem of little incomes for their homesteads, they ought to answer three key questions that he said rotate around expenditure and incomes for the families.
“Poverty in your homes can be addressed by asking yourself how much your family’s annual expenditure is, which assets your family has and how to use those assets to generate more income than your expenditure.”
According to Museveni the youths who are educated should help the illiterate people in the villages understand these ideas so they can copy them, to move away from subsistence production to commercial production, especially in agriculture.
“If you don’t advise them on what to do, they will make many mistakes. They have food and non -food needs but if they only work for their stomachs but forget the pockets, how will they address the non-food needs,” he wondered.
The President who occasionally paused mid-way his speech to ask some questions about wealth creation to the youth leaders told them that they can only benefit from what they do if they do it with proper calculation.
“The people here used to have local animals. Those cows have value but you need to be with many cows like 1000 and you can sell like 200 per year to earn a lot of money out them. Because of this, I advised them to rear exotic breeds which require little space but give higher yields in form of milk. Animals like pigs and chicken don’t require a big space,” he said.
Explaining the four-acre model that was introduced in the 1996 manifesto, Museveni told the youth leaders that they can grow coffee on one acre and that it can fetch not less than shs18 million but also has market everywhere.
“The number of coffee bags bought on the international market increases day by day and if you grow them, you are assured of a market. It is not like maize or sugarcanes whose markets on many occasions go down.”
The President noted that on the second acre, food can be grown whereas the third and fourth aces can be used for growing fruits and pasture for animals respectively.
“This is the message you need to take to your villages and become change agents. You should know that jobs are not only in government but in commercial agriculture. Remember the government has only 480,000 jobs but as I speak, factories employ 700,000 people and the services employ 1.3 million people.”
The youth leaders told the NRM presidential flag bearer that they would put into practice the message given to them but asked for another lecture at the President’s demonstration farm in Kawumu that he accepted to do after the election.