My name is Mohamed Malembo, 33, a Tanzanian. I am a rural development practitioner by profession, and Executive Director at and founder of Local Entrepreneurship Network and Environmental Conservation (LENEC). I’m also Ambassador for MilkywayYouthMovement in the area of education, health, and culture, representing Tanzania.
When I was a primary school student, I started as a bread and snacks seller, and food vendor helping my mother to earn income for the family. I observed several challenges while working, such as child labour, forced tax payment, no areas for small business people among the others, to some individuals who worked in such trades. One day I came with an idea for an initiating institution to address these challenges facing the local entrepreneurs to the government in my country. I thank God, I reached University level, I thought it was a proper time to pursue my dream. My recent work with youth-led organization that operates in an entrepreneurship-, environment- and human-related context—that is, human rights and disasters—which I founded with my efforts. Through this Organization, I managed to raise hot discussion on youth employment through the agricultural sector following research and simple observation within my country.
Vegetable farming for improved production economy is a training initiative that aims to add a solution to youth unemployment in the agricultural sector in Tanzania, under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #1. The initiative intends to involve more than 500 youth and other peasant individuals in building their capacities for improved irrigation. This initiative will grow sweet peppers, tomatoes, and onions as pilot crops for the training through the use of improved farming technology, consisting of a solar electric pump, drip set-up, improved seeds, and plant vitamins that will ensure vegetable products of quality and quantity at market.
The reason that motivated me to rise this agripreneurship initiative is as follows; Census (2012) shows that more than 60% of the people in my country are youths, and are the ones who ignore involvement in the agricultural sector that keeps them jobless. Meanwhile, public media, including newspapers, radio, TV, and social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, fail to provide essential information that relates to agricultural challenges and opportunities in my country.
The initiative has three important phases:
- Awareness on Agricultural information: Challenges and Opportunities (we will give information through local meet-ups, seminars, workshops, and social media.
- Development of farm training (for demonstrating improved farming technology and better farming strategies)
- Connect trained individuals (youth and other peasant individuals) to financial institutions or companies like SACCOS and banks for loan or farming tools access respectively.
The initiative picks the agricultural sector since it is the foundation of the country’s economy. It accounts for about half of the national income, three-quarters of merchandise exports, is the source of food, and provides employment opportunities to about 80% of individuals. It has linkages with the non-farm sector through forward linkages to agro-processing, consumption and export. And it provides raw materials to industries and a market for manufactured.
The initiative will establish the training base at Mvomero District, with the entire project’s activities to take place there for the nearby youth and other peasant community groups. The initiative will expand to other farming zones to make young people and other indigenous communities aware of agriculture as the biggest employer, income earner, and provider of food security. Also, the initiative shall introduce the Agricultural ShowCase (ASC) that shall act as platform for discussing and presenting the agricultural context through TV/radio and social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
In implementing this initiative, we have started phase I (from January to August 2016), providing awareness on agricultural information: challenges and opportunities through meeting, television (Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation-TBC), and social media. We expect to go to phase II (from September 2016 to March 2017) for developing farm training where youth and other peasants’ groups will be formed for demonstrating technology and better farming strategies. We will measure our success through seeing the increasing in youth numbers taking an interest in farming sector and form their agricultural ventures.
The initiative has three acres arable farmland, located near Wami river in Morogoro region. Together with a mini-water pump that will assist solar electric pump to pull water from the river and knowledgeable volunteers from the field of agronomy for operating this training. The budget for phase II (USD 5000):
- USD 1,591 for purchasing solar electric pump set
- USD 1,636 for purchasing drip system technology
- USD 546 for purchasing seeds and insecticides
- USD 999 for purchasing plant vitamins and staking poles and string
- USD 228 for blog development and information provision
Later on, this initiative will embark to phase III (from April to May 2017) for connecting trained youth and other peasant individuals to financial institutions or companies for loan or farming tools access.
Join forces together!
Blogpost and picture submitted by Mohamed Malembo (Tanzania): malembom[at]yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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