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NYS unveils Agriculture and Technical skills institute

The agriculture sector in Busia received a major boost following the official operationalisation of the Achiye Echakara NYS Technical Training Institute in Teso North constituency, which targets to equip youths with modern farming technologies in an effort to attain the country’s food security by 2025.

Speaking during the official launch of an administration block and learning centre at the institution, Teso North MP Dr. Oku Kaunya urged parents to make best use of the institution to tap on modern agriculture techniques for economic empowerment and self-sustainability.

NYS Deputy Director General Jamlick Chabari planting a tree at Achiye Echakara NYS Institute during the official launch of the adminstration block. Photo by Absalom Namwalo

“The agriculture sector employs more than 40 per cent of the total population and 70 per cent of the rural population. However, agricultural productivity has stagnated in recent years, with youth taking a back seat despite the high rate of unemployment in this country,” said Dr. Kaunya.

The legislature added that the priority objective of the constituency is to ensure all youth are fashioned with skills that will create employment, in addition to empowering the community economically.

“We, the Iteso community, are blessed with natural resources like land and water. The main problem we have is lack of relevant skills to capitalise on the available resources for the betterment of themselves and the community at large,” noted Kaunya.

Hon. Kaunya added that he will not condone idling youth in the constituency engaging in drug abuse, even as he urged the security apparatus in the county to remain vigilant to save future generations.

His sentiments were echoed by Teso North DCC Stephen Wambura, who challenged the Teso Community to embrace learning institutions to ensure all youths, irrespective of their education status, acquire a skill useful in the 21st century.

The Deputy Director General of NYS, Jamlick Chabari, who presided over the official opening of the institute on behalf of CS Moses Kuria, urged the community of Teso to support the institution by cooperating with the officers who will be posted there to ensure its success and progress.

“Count yourselves lucky, you people of Busia, to have such institutions around. Through Community Service Responsibility (CSR) as NYS, we will consider 25% of the youths from Busia during the first round of technical skills training, something that has never happened anywhere else,” said director Chabari.

The Chief Executive Officer for Teso North National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) projects, Yusuf Mbuno, applauded the MP Kaunya for prioritising technical and vocational education training institutions such as the NYS, which is the fourth such institution to be established in the constituency using the CDF fund.

Achiye Echakara NYS institute has cost NG-CDF Teso North Sh 31 million so far, catering for 14 acres of land and the construction of an administration block and learning centre that were launched today.

By January 2024, the barracks will receive the first batch of recruits who will train in three major professions: agriculture, technical courses, and hospitality courses.

ACK Katakwa Diocese Bishop John Okude noted that residents will have themselves to blame if they don’t enrol their children in institutes in the area like NYS, KMTC, and TTI that offer a broad range of courses suitable for the current job market.

By Absalom Namwalo

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