YUMBE: Leaders in Yumbe district have sounded alarm bells about the increasing cases of laziness among youths which has seen most of them abandoning villages for urban centres to come and idle.

This is in reference to the bigger number of the idle youths staying in Yumbe Town and other Trading Centres despite the availability of fertile soils, current rain season and ready market for their crops.

Mr Manasi Wadia, the Resident District Commissioner attributed some of the insecurity cases in the district such as theft, food insecurity to idleness of the people in the district.

"We have very vast and fertile land in the district but the people don't want to utilize it for crop production. This district could be one of the food baskets in the region but majority of them are lazy, they only look for ready things which can't last longer," he said.

He said some people in the district now depend on buying the relief food given for refugees.

Wadia instead urged the residents to utilize the available rains to grow enough crops.

The RDC added that the residents should struggle to get their own farm inputs instead of waiting from the government and said the role of the government is to top up what they have got.

Mr Yassin Taban the district chairperson said due the presence of the refugees, there is need for the local residents to increase food production in the district.

"We have a good number of the refugees who don't have enough land and if we use this opportunity to produce enough food, then part of the food would be sold to them to get income. It doesn't mean that World Food Program would give food throughout like that, we need to produce enough food so that we supply the population in West Nile," he said.

Yumbe district is currently home to 270,000 South Sudanese refugees settled at Bidibidi refugee settlement.

He said the population of Yumbe has reached 900,000 people including the refugees and all of them need to be fed but food production in the district is still low.

Taban called upon the local residents and the business community in the district to invest in agriculture so that the issue of food insecurity in the district is addressed.

The leaders are also concerned that despite various government interventions through operation wealth creation and supplemented by aid agencies, changing attitudes of local population to adopt large scale farming is still a challenge.