DODOMA : MINISTER for Agriculture, Hussein Bashe has said that the government’s dream to help youth engage in agricultural production activities has been fulfilled by 97 per cent.
He said in Dodoma on Monday that 763 youth who were enrolled in the Building a Better Tomorrow Youth Initiative For Agribusiness (BBT-YIA) programme have completed their training and will be given farms today to continue with production activities.
He said they will be entrusted with their farms in Chinangali and Ndogoye area in Dodoma.
“A total of 763 youth equivalent to 97 per cent of 812 youth who were selected to join the BBT programme have completed their training. The remaining 50 youth did not attend for various reasons, this number proves that Tanzanian youth are not lazy they need to be supported,” said Mr Bashe when he was speaking to the youth who have completed BBT programme training and are ready to entre agribusiness.
“You are the flag bearer of BBT programme being the first batch and we at the government are highly optimistic that you will deliver and inspire more youth to join the programme.
“I have visited two incubation centres in Tengeru (Arusha) and Uyole (Mbeya) and we are making significant improvement so that, in the coming programme, we will create better environment for youth to learn,” he added.
He said that youth who have completed BBT training will be provided with certificates, land ownership documents, houses where they will be living and farmers’ Smart Card, where they will be the first farmers in the country to have these types of cards.
Minister Bashe noted that some financial institutions, especially banks have already expressed their interest in providing funds to help develop youth in production activities.
The minister said that the youth who have completed the programme will form a cooperative that will help them be trusted by these financial institutions. Mr Bashe said further that the youth will also be required to attend one month training in the National Service Force (JKT).
The BBT-YIA was a collaborative effort, between the government through Ministry of Agriculture, private sector and development partners led by USAID-SERA BORA Project.
In Tanzania, youth (people aged between 15 and 35) and children (people aged less than 15 years) account for 75 per cent of population, Youth accounts for 56 per cent of the active labour force.
Agriculture is the main contributor of employment for the nation as it accounts for 66.6 per cent of employment and it contributes nearly 30 per cent to the national GDP.
The country is therefore aiming to promote youth engagement in agribusiness for sustainable and improved livelihoods.
According to minister Bashe more specifically, BBT-YIA intends to: Inspire youth through implementation of a behaviour/attitude changing communication strategy that would rebrand agriculture and make it more appealing to youth.
It also targets to empower youth through training mentoring and coaching, and other interventions that would impart necessary skills for employment or management of their own agribusinesses, engage youth in profitable and sustainable management of agribusinesses,.
Other targets is to enable youth- led enterprises by improving policy, legal and regulatory environment and facilitating the development for youth in agribusinesses and coordinate effectively activities of NGOs supporting youth for synergy as well as efficiency and effective outcomes.
BBT- YIA has prioritised value chains with fast turnover and other attributes that are youth friendly. The value chains and related nodes include cereals, oil seed, horticulture, poultry, fresh produce marketing, agro- dealership, agro-service, agro- processing, value addition and food service.