THE Ministry of Agriculture has launched a national strategy for youth involvement and building a better tomorrow programme to support youth engagement in agricultural value chain.
Through the programme the youth will be provided with land, inputs, capital and reliable markets for their produce.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr Anthony Mavunde, announced the decision on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam at the launch of the Feed the Future Tanzania Advancing Young (AY) impact stories book.
“It is not true that young people dislike agriculture; rather they have faced numerous challenges, including lack of access to land, inputs, and reliable markets for their produce, as well as capital.However, we will overcome the challenges through the programme,” he stated.
Mr Mavunde went on saying that in agriculture they have opted to incorporate more young people, who are critical in attaining the targets set forth in the ‘Agenda 10/30’ that calls for the agricultural sector to grow by 10 per cent by 2030, up from 4.8 per cent now.
The launched book details 29 stories of youth beneficiaries that AY has impacted. Implemented inIringa, Mbeya, and Zanzibar regions, Feed the Future Tanzania Advancing Youth supports rural youth aged 15-35 to engage in agribusiness and other rural value chains and increase their economic opportunities while promoting leadership and healthy lifestyles.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director, Ms Kate Somvongsiri said the US government through the agency prioritises investing in youth through its 20 million US dollars five-year Feed the Future Tanzania AY activity.
“Advancing Youth addresses the challenges affecting rural young people by supporting leadership, life skills, and livelihood opportunities where youth can channel collectively worth 1 .3bn/- (560,700 US dollars), demonstrating the infinite possibilities that youth hold,” she said.
Ms Somvongsirinoted that apart from startups, AY has also helped youth gain leadership skills, and has subsequently led community development efforts where youth have raised more than 120m/- (52,170 US$) to build six rural roads, 15 schools, and 210 latrines (for clinics and schools).
“This has helped shape their communities’ perspectives of young people as change agents and capable individuals who can provide critical support to transform the communities in which they live,” she said
To date, the USAID Advancing Youth activity has reached more than 26,500 young people and provided over 1.2bn/- as grants to grow agribusinesses.
AY Chief of Party, NgasumaKanyeka said since 2018, through the project over 42,000 youth in Iringa, Mbeya and Zanzibar have been trained on entrepreneurship, workforce readiness skills, leadership, and life skills for healthy living and planning.