Councils urged to allocate land for BBT project

DODOMA: DISTRICT councils in the country wishing to be included in the implementation of Building Better Tomorrow (BBT) have been called upon to earmark land for the initiative.

Deputy Minister for Agriculture, David Silinde made the call when responding to the basic question asked by Special Seats legislator (CCM) Subira Mgalu in Parliament.

In her question, Ms Mgalu wanted to know if the government had any plan of implementing BBT project in Rufiji Basin. In his response to the question, the deputy minister said until March this year, the government had earmarked a total of 340,245.3 acres for the programme across the country, including testing soil health.

Regions where land for BBT project is earmarked are Dodoma, Mbeya, Singida, Tanga, Njombe and Kagera. According to the deputy minister, preparations for the farms under the project have begun in Dodoma Region.

He said in 2024/2025 financial year, the ministry plans to start implementing BBT projects in 100 district councils that will earmark land (200 hectares) by building irrigation infrastructure, including offering expertise.

He said the councils will also bear the responsibility of enrolling youths from within their areas who will benefit from the programme.

“I, therefore, call upon Ms Mgalu to urge her council to earmark land so that it can be included in the list of 100 councils that will benefit from the programme,” the deputy minister urged.

There has been a call, urging the government to establish irrigation schemes in Rufiji basin by tapping water that flows downstream from Julius Nyerere Hydropower dam.

Building a Better Tomorrow – Youth Initiative for Agribusiness (BBT-YIA) focuses to enhance the engagement of youth in the agricultural sector for sustainable and improved livelihoods.

Its strategic objectives are to inspire youths through implementing behaviour/attitude changing communication strategy, empower youths through training mentoring and coaching, engage youths in profitable and sustainable management of agribusinesses, enable youthled enterprises by improving business environment, and coordinate effectively youth agribusiness support initiatives for synergy and efficiency.

Tanzania is one of the countries with the youngest population in the world [World Population Review, 2022].

It has a median age of 18 years and youths and children accounting for 31 per cent and 44 per cent of population respectively.

With the median age of 18 years, this is a population preparing to enter the labour market but faces several barriers including but not limited to: negative perception towards agriculture, limited agricultural entrepreneurial skills, poor access to land, limited accessibility to financial services, markets; and modern agricultural labour saving and digital technologies.

This is the reason that prompted the sixth phase government, under President Samia Suluhu Hassan, to come up with BBT programme.

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