Youth Hands-On Agribusiness TRAINING
Mkongo Agricultural Youth Camp - Rufiji, Tanzania
The Mkongo Agricultural Youth Camp is a collaborative project implemented by SUGECO - with organizations such as the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO UN), the Rufiji Basin Development Authority (RUBADA) and the Rufiji District Council, as key stakeholders. The camp, located in the Rufiji district, is surrounded with arable land totaling 262 acres as well as the RUWE Lake; it is also proximate to the Rufiji river, which surrounds fertile land suitable for irrigation projects and agricultural development. FAO is providing ongoing support to the project.
Each year approximately 250 youth are recruited from various Districts all over Tanzania and benefit from the Youth Hands On Agribusiness Skills Training at the Mkongo Agricultural Youth Camp. The training is delivered using real farm field-work; these ‘in-the-field’ demonstration sessions incorporated 80% practical sessions and 20% theoretical class-based training.
This year, training sessions for youth passionate about agri-business and entrepreneurship will be held once again at the Mkongo Youth Agricultural Camp; the training will focus on subjects ranging from horticulture, bee-keeping, Poultry and Goat/Rabbit Farming. Whilst at the camp, SUGECO’s experienced trainers promoted self-employment and entrepreneurial mind-sets, helped to enhance youth agri-business skills as well as increased youth exposure to innovative agricultural techniques and practical opportunities.
Via the use of both in-class lecture sessions as well as in-the-field practical experiences, the camp endeavours to expose trainees to diverse farming technologies, including drip system installation, seed sowing, fertilizer application via drip system (fertigation process), farm machinery, appropriate and safe machine operation as well as soil preparation techniques. In order promote both entrepreneurship and enterprise development, the training program also focuses on introducing attendees to basic entrepreneurship and agribusiness strategies; by exposing youth participants to various facets of the business process such as business planning, leadership and business ethics, production/operations plan, implementation planning processes, marketing issues, financial literacy, record keeping and general life skills, the training program also hopes to instill youth mindset change towards agribusiness and agri-entrepreneurship.
In 2019 SUGECO, hopes to train over 250 Tanzanian youth on agribusiness hands-on skills and entrepreneurship, by a practical approach that includes the development of demonstration plots (for horticulture, bee-keeping and animal farming) for both observation and in-the-field practical experience; moreover, our program seeks to continue supporting the future of Tanzania, such as by providing water pumps, irrigation kits, seed starter-up kits (that include seed capital), business coaching and linkage to local agricultural officers as well as provision of manuals, training materials and certificates of attendance to identified youth attendees. The program also aims to facilitate youth engagement in order to enhance idea sharing and youth innovation; SUGECO’s current recruitment database, developed from previous youth engagement programs, is one such networking site that aims to link youth from various Tanzanian Districts.