Review policies to stem machinga increase

KEENLY observing some of the socio-economic activities like betting the youth are engage in urban areas to eke out a living, you will definitely reach a conclusion that they require serious behaviour change and addressed means, which guarantee them reliable sources of living.

This is coupled with the fact that the decision to migrate is not voluntary, but influenced by problems experienced at home including difficult economic conditions and poor returns from agriculture (read not given attention it requires) as well as lack of alternative, nonagricultural employment.

Equally, it should be noted that migration of the youth from rural to urban areas is a clear indication that there are failures in investments, strategies and policies, which should foster agricultural and other sources of employment opportunities for them.

This fact is complicated by specific policies pursued in rural development in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s, which must have not addressed the problem, but instead created a workforce that is not properly ‘tapped’ in the country.

And in most rural areas, the impact of rural-urban migration leads to rapid deterioration of the rural economy, which in turn leads to chronic poverty and food insecurity as the list prolongs.

This drives us to focus on mobile and stationary petty-traders popularly known as “wamachinga in urban areas like Dar es Salaam, who require special attention so that they stop trooping to urban areas and instead work and earn a living at home-rural areas.

And in that regard the “wamachinga” phenomenon ought to be perceived as a national problem, with both macro and micro-level dimensions and in line with this-the government must review its policies with the view of re-emphasising rural development.

In the course, strengthening the development of the rural economy should be a priority not only to the government, but also stakeholders, because this is a national problem.

As the sixth phase government paying a lot of attention to the problem and allocating the ministry of agriculture 970,785,619,000/- from 751,123,280,000/-, which is an increase of 29.24 per cent in the 2023/2024 budget, we should collectively agree that improving the agricultural sector in rural areas, will definitely address problems, which accompany the youth migrating to urban areas.

Politics put aside, modernising agriculture in poor areas will yield substantial benefits, raise productivity and provide the pull needed to keep young people in rural areas, instead of dreaming to migrating to large cities.

Equally, jobs in what it is called “agricultural value chains” should get special attention to further provide opportunities for them, so that they provide the labour that is required from them.

This should go in line with improving infrastructure and services, such as in health, education and social in the same rural areas, because their shortage or lack, drive the youth to town to look for them.

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