Dodoma RC calls for youth-led agri-business

DODOMA: DODOMA Regional Commissioner (RC), Rosemary Senyamule has asked youth to grab opportunities in agri-business so as to increase their earnings and boost the economy via the sector.

The RC was speaking during the just concluded 2023 Tanzania Agriculture Stakeholders Learning Event (TASLE), organised by Agricultural Markets Development Trust (AMDT) in collaboration with several partner institutions.

AMDT is a Tanzanian-owned trust established to support better coordination between value chain development initiatives, enhance and improve the understanding of agricultural market systems, improve productivity and market access for micro, small and medium enterprises, maximise the impact of programmes, and more effectively contribute to reducing poverty in Tanzania.

Conducted in Dodoma under the theme: ‘Connect, Sustain and Scale Innovation in Agriculture Market Systems’, TASLE 2023 drew several stakeholders in the agriculture sector to discuss the best ways to add value in production so as to boost the country’s economy.

The event served as a platform for experts, policymakers, researchers, farmers, and industry leaders to come together and work towards a sustainable and prosperous future for agriculture in the country.

Held in the vibrant Capital City of Dodoma, TASLE brought together hundreds of participants from across Tanzania, as well as international experts, to learn, collaborate, and share insights on innovative practices, policies and technologies in the agricultural sector.

Throughout the event, participants engaged in a series of interactive workshops, training sessions, and panel discussions, providing a valuable platform for stakeholders to learn from one another and build lasting partnerships.

Furthermore, the event placed a significant emphasis on empowering youth involvement in agriculture.

The closing ceremony of the event was graced by Ms Senyamule who paid tribute to AMDT for bringing together stakeholders in the sector with a view to looking at various challenges and suggesting the best ways to move forward.

The RC touted for specific attention and training programmes as well as educational initiatives that aim to equip young Tanzanians with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the evolving agricultural landscape.

Ms Senyamule noted that with the various improved policies set by the government, agriculture has now turned out to be considered as potential for citizens to become rich, unlike the previous myth that it was just for poor unemployed persons.

“I believe, for the three days that you have been here, you will come up with deliberations which will help our people engaging in agriculture to have proper coordination,” she said.

The RC said the government wanted to see a greater number of youth engaging in agri-business because that is where money was found, insisting: ” By doing so, they will improve their individual  income, contribute to the country’s GDP as well as solving unemployment problems by employing themselves.”

At the event, AMDT Executive Director, Charles Ogutu said that TASLE involved stakeholders from different development sectors, with the main target being learning as well as sharing experience.

He added that the event equally brought together participants from the financial institutions who ought to provide agricultural loans and loans for procuring equipment in efforts to heighten value addition and production.

“In our deliberations, stakeholders have unanimously agreed to put up joint strategies to supervise themselves, and they have decided to include in their strategic plans what they have learnt immediately after going back to their respective offices,” he noted.

AMDT member of the Board of Trustees, Dr Mary Shetto, said during a period of one year, her organisation had reached out to over 100,000 farmers from different regions.

She noted that the major focus was now on sunflower farming in efforts to help the government in slashing down the budget for importing edible oil.

“The main objective for investing in sunflowers is to complement efforts by the government to increase production and reduce imports of edible oil products from outside the country,” said Dr Shetto.

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