[TAGDev Story] Connecting Agricultural Extension Services to Farming Communities


Riding under the scorching sun on a bumpy road in Pader district, Okelokoko Nobert ponders on his life journey from staying in an internally displaced person camp to pursuing a Master’s degree at Gulu University. He currently works as an Agricultural Extension Officer in the department of production and marketing in Pader Local Government in Northern Uganda heading Ogom and Pukor sub-counties.

Okelokoko’s upbeat demeanor signifies that his difficult days are behind him. Starting a Motorcycle spare parts and repair shop to supplement the family income, investing in the lucrative cabbage growing business, and working with farming communities to extend government advisory services as an Agricultural extension worker, Okelokoko can only feel happiness and relief knowing that he is on the right track to fulfilling his life purpose of transforming his community by training more youth in agricultural practices while he continues his work as a civil servant.

Despite the challenges posed by climate change, such as extended dry seasons and flooding, Okelokoko began cabbage farming a year ago as a quick way to supplement his monthly salary as an agricultural extension worker because cabbage matures faster than other grains such as sim-sim and rice. During this business venture, he interacts with young people in the community, teaching them agricultural and business skills so that they can each replicate the idea to provide income for their families. The TAGDev scholarship degree, combined with his life experiences as a motorcycle mechanic and a vegetable farmer, would later prepare him for a life-changing opportunity when he receives his appointment as the Agricultural Extension Officer in Pader district.

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