By Max Patrick Ocaido
Community Integrated Development Initiative (CIDI)-Training Centre for Gardening and Landscaping has turned into a blessing in fighting rampant unemployment levels among urban youths.
Muyenga based CIDI-Training Centre for Gardening and Landscaping is the only vocational institution in Uganda training Landscape Gardeners that opened doors in 2010.
With an annual enrollment of 40 students, the vocational institution has so far seen over 200 youth attain practical skills which have fundamentally enhanced on living through employment. Among the skills attained include; Soil fertility management and preparation of organic manures, urban farming, herbs and vegetable production, nursery establishment and management, ornamental plants and agro forestry tree production, growing of mushrooms, entrepreneurship skills, landscape designing and gardening among others.
According to Viola Anyango, the institution’s Public Relations manager, the objective of CIDI- Training Centre for Gardening and Landscaping is to contribute to reduction of unemployment among the urban youths through provision of vocational skills in the field of gardening and landscaping.
And this objective is without doubt turning into reality considering that, “80-90% of our students find a job or become self-employed in booming landscaping industry.”
Anyango boasted that out of 212 youths who have so far graduated, 85% are employed, while 21% are self-employed with a monthly salary of at least Shs400,000.
A recent report from World Bank titled “Closing the Potential-Performance Divide in Ugandan Agriculture” revealed that Uganda’s agricultural sector is still lagging behind because “few young people in Uganda wish to become farmers.”
Youth form the biggest population in Uganda with about 23.6m out of the estimated 38m Ugandans and of which most youth are unemployed. This explains why CIDI-Training Centre for Gardening and Landscaping has invested heavily to equip students with the necessary skills to become innovative and successful entrepreneurs in Gardening and Landscape in order to find decently paid employment.