Successful closure of the youth hands on Agribusiness Project
Mkongo Youth Hands on Agribusiness was a two-year project funded to Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of United Nations from 2016 to 2017. SUGECO collaborated with Rufiji Basin Development Authority (RUBADA) on providing this training which covered four major programs including horticulture, roots and tubers, poultry keeping and beekeeping. Over 500 youth from across the country have benefited from the training. The youth were taken in different batches including 50 youth who stayed in a camp for two weeks engaged intensively in a class and in field sessions. During the two-week training, the youth were exposed to new agricultural technologies like application of drip irrigation system and greenhouse, among other things.
On October 11, 2017 it was the closure of the training held in the camp with the beekeeping final trainees who were among the beneficiaries of the training and other guests were invited. During the closing ceremony, Principal Agriculture Officer from the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Evarist Makene congratulated SUGECO and RUBADA for the job well done, adding on how the training will help young people to be able to embark on smart agriculture activities.
“The training that you have received should be well utilized when you go back in your home villages, you should be a catalyst for agricultural transformation.” Dr. Evarist Makene.
Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) Director of planning and development, Prof Damian Gabadambi urged the government to allow SUA to take control of the Mkongo agricultural youth camp so that more young graduates can be trained on better practices of modern agriculture for the country’s development.
Furthermore SUGECO Executive Director Mr. Revocatus Kimario emphasized on the youth to work very hard and to use the skills acquired to transform their lives. He also added on how the country needs to undergo a major youth mindset transformation to change the negative perception towards agriculture and to attract more youth in agribusiness in order to combat the current unemployment challenge facing youth.