BENEFICIARIES of Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) agro-scholarship programme have said the initiative will offer them immense opportunities in the agriculture sector that are necessary for building economic development.
Through its agro-scholarship programme known as ‘Kilimo Viwanda,’ SBL has been sponsoring aspiring agribusiness students from underprivileged families to pursue their tertiary education in various agriculture colleges in the country.
A first-year diploma student in agriculture production at Igabiro Training Institute of Agriculture (ITIA) in Kagera Region, Mr Kelving Bambanza thanked SBL for the scholarship through which he will acquire the necessary skills in agriculture that offer immense income-generating opportunities.
“SBL’s sponsorship will go a long way to empowering me to enhance my skills, further my education, and increase my opportunities,” he said, adding “I am proud of being one of the beneficiaries of the Kilimo Viwanda scholarship. I don’t know where I would have been without this scholarship.”
He further emphasised his commitment to putting the skills acquired into practice and empowering other farmers with modern farming skills which he believes will ultimately elevate his entire community.
On her part, Ms Alistidia Ndyamukama, another beneficiary studying at the same college, expressed her interest to grow her practical skills, showing her appreciation to SBL for supporting her aspirations.
“I had lost hope but I heard about ‘Kilimo Viwanda’s scholarships through the radio and I applied, a few weeks later, I got selected, and here I am,” she added.
She further highlighted her aspirations to empower other students and farmers across her community, “I look forward to enlightening farmers and young adults to venture into agribusiness. I have been familiarised with many techniques and opportunities,” she added.
The SBL’s Corporate Relations Director, Mr John Wanyancha said SBL will continue to support government initiatives towards improving the agriculture sector by sponsoring the youth who are pursuing agricultural courses in various colleges.
“Sponsoring the education of underprivileged students taking agricultural courses has a ripple effect across different aspects of economic development.
These students will get an opportunity to learn technical skills, and they will be ready for agri-business opportunities and ultimately enhancing their communities,” he said.
Commenting on the programme, the Igabiro Training Institute of Agriculture, Deputy College Principal Mr Sydney Kasele commended SBL for its commitment to supporting agriculture, particularly by sponsoring students to be keen on agricultural development.
“This Kilimo Viwanda programme has a component that includes students visiting SBL factories and some thriving farms where they can be able to collate theory with practical experience,” he said.
The Igabiro College in Bukoba is one of the many institutions benefiting from the programme. Other colleges in Pwani, Iringa, and Kilimanjaro regions have also helped. These include Kaole, St Maria Goretti and Kilacha, which have received scholarship students from the programme in previous years.
The ‘Kilimo Viwanda scholarship programme was launched in 2019 to support underprivileged students from farming communities to study agriculture courses.
SBL issues certificate for the scholarships every financial year. Students are selected for various agriculture courses in reputable colleges in Tanzania.
The scholarship covers total tuition fees and other academic expenses throughout their studies.