Govt reaffirms agricultural support

THE government has reiterated its commitment to create a conducive environment for youth to undertake agricultural projects through mechanization and technology.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Hussein Omar made the commitment here on Wednesday during the launch of the USAID funded Feed the Future Tanzania Private Sector Strengthening Activity (PSSA).

The program among others aimed at empowering youth-led enterprises in the agriculture and agribusiness sector.

He said the project is key since the private sector has a great role to play because it has wider room for innovation, technological and value addition to attain the agenda2030 goals including increased productivity and food security.

“We want to make agriculture a sector that employs the majority of youth and women instead of them banking on government and private companies for employment,” he said.

Speaking during the project launch, USAID Mission Director, Ms Kate Somvongsiri said they have committed over 12-million US dollars to strengthen youth investing in agriculture and the government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

The move is meant to give youth access to capital and finances and market opportunities through capacity building to attain the needed skills to venture in agribusiness.

She said PSSA will collaborate with youth-led and youth-focused institutions and local government authorities to improve the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by increasing access to credit, technical expertise, business service and markets.

The project also aims to improve the effectiveness of policy implementation and enforcement.

Earlier, PSSA Chief of Party, Mr Elibariki Shammy said in implementation, the programme will align with and support the Ministry of Agriculture in Building a Better Tomorrow (BBT) initiative as it will reach 30,000 youth, facilitating access to services for at least 6,000-youth led enterprises and access finance for at least 3,000 youth led enterprises.

During the event, PSSA awarded grants to private sector associations and lead firms that are to improve the business-enabling environment and expand economic opportunities for youth.

The firms that received the grant yesterday included Khebandza Marketing Company who got 287.4m/- to help to establish700-youth enterprises operating in the cereals, pulses and oil seeds sectors in Mbeya region and link these firms with markets.

The Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce received a 297.8m/- grant to establish business hubs linking youth enterprises with technical expertise with technical expertise, business service, finance and markets.

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