Africa-Press – Tanzania. PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has encouraged youths in the country to exploit available opportunities in the agriculture sector given the conducive environment being created by the government.
He said the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and all local government councils will continue to coordinate participation of youths in the sector for the docket to keep playing a pivotal role in creating employment opportunities.
The Premier made the statement on Wednesday at the John Mwakangale grounds shortly after he visited agricultural pavilions and launched the Building a Better Tomorrow-a Youth Initiative for Agribusiness (BBT-YIA) programme to be implemented between 2022 and 2030.
The programme is designed to attract youth in the agricultural sector for sustainable and improved livelihood.
“Youth should never hesitate to engage in the agriculture sector, instructions were made for all Local Government Authorities (LGA’s) to allocate land plots and put in place supportive infrastructure for farming,” he said.
Mr Majaliwa also allayed fears among youth on accessibility of loan as starting capital as already President Samia Suluhu Hassan during her meeting with financial instructions had asked for establishment of special loans for small sale business and agriculture sector.
“Right now most of the banks are issuing loans for the agriculture sector, moreover the government is looking on the possibility of using the special loans under LGAs for youth to engage in the sector,” he noted.
He said agriculture extension officers in LGAs will also be helping youths who are interested in joining the sector in writing the work plan that will enable applicants to secure loans from financial institutions.
Youth have to make better use of the opportunities being created by the government to ensure youth are being empowered economically, he said, commending Mbeya region for proper preparation for the exhibitions that will be closed by President Samia next Monday.
Speaking on the launched programme, Minister for Agriculture Hussein Bashe said the government has allocated a total of 69,000 acres that will be provided to youth in Dodoma and Mbeya regions as a pilot study.
He said a total of 49,000 acres are in Mbeya and the remaining 20,000 acres are in Dodoma region where the government will clean and build the needed infrastructure for farming before issuing the plots to the youth.
“This programme involves youths who have engaged in agriculture and a whole chain of value addition, he said, adding that the government had allocated a total of 10bn/- for the programme to be implemented in the year 2022/23.
The minister noted that the programme will be extended to other regions.
For his part, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Anthony Mavunde said implementation of the launched BBT-YIA programme will create a total of 200,000 employment opportunities for youth in Dodoma and Mbeya regions.
“The target is to create job opportunities for three million youths in the country through the agriculture sector by the year 2030,” he said, adding that the programme was established to address factors limiting youth engagement in agribusiness.
The programme also intends to reach out to 10 per cent of youth with effective communication rebranding agriculture as an opportunity for sustainable livelihood.
So far, the agriculture sector has employed around 85 per cent of the Tanzania population, while contributing 25 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).