Youth Economic Empowerment through Agribusiness Project in Tanga City is an initiative coordinated by the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) with financial support from Botnar Foundation and Innovex as a fund manager and implemented by SUGECO and other Partners.
The initiative intends to improve the productivity and competitiveness of smallholder horticultural producers as important aspects of poverty reduction. The project aims to establish the Agribusiness Incubation Center where youth (incubates) will be capacitated on innovative ways of doing agriculture and using technology in agriculture. The project will support and facilitate the establishment of agricultural startup projects for youth in Tanga City through special training and practical programming aiming at providing more experience to these young entrepreneurs. The center will also act as a demonstration site for urban farming where farmers come and learn innovative agricultural techniques, especially in areas with limited land and water resources.
The project will focus on empowering youth farmers to own and manage their schemes and improve productivity. The project will also support the construction of greenhouses which will be provided to youth to grow their plants at the Masiwani agricultural incubation center. Irrigation systems that will be installed will enable youth farmers to produce crops even in the dry season when prices are high and farmers suffer from food- insecurity. The project will also focus on improved production, post-harvest handling technologies, market accessibility, financial services, and capacity building.
Sustainable employment for Urban and semi-Urban youth from Tanga City will be created through active engagement in agribusiness for wealth creation and poverty reduction. This project is expected to facilitate the growth of youth-led enterprises through collaboration with innovative financial service providers, creating market linkages, integrating innovatively digital technologies, and enhancing business management capacity. The project will link the selected horticultural crops to be grown under irrigation to market opportunities. Such crops will include green pepper, red pepper, yellow pepper, onions, cabbage, tomato, French beans, maize, chilies, okra, snow peas, and bananas (which have a higher potential of being locally traded and higher demand internationally).
Implemented by SUGECO, the Vocational Skills Development (VSD) project involves training youth aged 15-24 and young mothers Agri related VSD short courses. It is a project funded by Swiss Contact under the Skills for Employability (SET) project. Specifically, the VSD will be implemented at SUGECO Training Center in Morogoro Municipal and Njiwa Juu, Njiwa Kati, and Itete villages in the Itete Ward in Malinyi District. The VSD will be delivered in form of courses which are medium courses of at least 2 months to long training courses of up to 6 months depending on the respective Agri-related crop cycle. The targeted number of trainees under the implementation for this training is three hundred (300 (120 young men-40% and 180 women- 60%),) trainees that will be trained on the different short courses. The emphasis of the short course will be on technical skills that can facilitate self-employability and supported by soft and business skills and post-training services to enhance income generation and employability results.
Objective 1: To enhance employment opportunities for youth (young men-40% and women- 60%), and young mothers-50% aged between 15-24 years through improving vocational skills development (VSD) in Tanzania.
Objective 2:To provide skills that will enable youth to gain the knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to practice the green economy for a sustainable and resource-efficient society.
Vocational Skills Development (VSD) training expectation:
• 300 youth will be trained and increased their awareness and skills in the commercial production, post-harvest handling, value addition, and marketing of crops in the selected value chains
• 200 youths adopted modern production techniques for selected crop value chains.
• 40% of the trained youth self-employed in the selected value chains
• 60% of trained youth are employed in the selected agriculture value chains
• Over 75% of the trained youth qualify for increased income
• The purpose is to address the skills gap between unemployed and vulnerable employed youth and employment/self-employability requirements in Morogoro Region.
• The VSD training will focus on imparting skills in the agricultural sector and its related value chains which are demand driven within and outside of the project region.
• SUGECO will provide skills that will enable youth to gain the knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to practice the green economy for a sustainable and resource-efficient society.
• SUGECO will provide a blend of technical hands-on skills and soft skills that will enable youth to gain employment opportunities, and business skills that will increase chances for self-employment, and improve their income status.
On February 2023, SUGECO conducted training focused on agribusiness skills, mentorship, coaching, and entrepreneurship for 200 youth farmers in the Southern Highlands Region. The training was funded by Helvetas-Tanzania under the KIBOWAVI project, a project that targets youth in providing skills and knowledge to help them respond to the market needs.
SUGECO provided hands-on training where the participants were equipped with skills in modern farming using Agricultural technologies like the installation of drip irrigation systems, seed sowing using trays as well as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) such as land preparation, nursery preparation and management, application of fertilizer, integrated pest management and identification of soil diseases before planting/transplanting any crop in the farm. They were also taken through the benefits of using screen houses in farming as well as solar dryer technology that is used to add value to horticultural crops and helps to reduce food loss.
The training was delivered by the use of a training rationing delivery approach where the trainee receives 80% Hands-on practical and 20% theory in both technical and business training.
SUGECO has experience in providing Mentorship, Coaching, and entrepreneurship agribusiness skills training. Over the past 11 years, SUGECO has developed good experience in supporting and facilitating Vocational training to youth and women while collaborating with both local and international organizations, providing consultation services, and assisting training providers and community of practice facilitators to innovate and enhancing skills delivery using appropriate techniques and methodologies.
• From March 2019 to June 2019 SUGECO worked with International Labor Organization (ILO) to assess Skills Mismatch for youth employability.
• Participate in developing training manuals and train 1563 youths who are out of school and out of jobs in hands-on agribusiness especially on modern farming in horticultural production, Poultry farming, beekeeping, production of nutritious crops and processing of horticultural crops, etc. Also linking youth and women to access LGA’s 10% own revenue fund.
• From November 2018 to date, SUGECO worked with the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Youth, Labor, Employment, and People with disabilities (PMO – YLED) to develop training manuals and facilitate training for Youth employability. The training focused on construction of screenhouse technology, installation of drip irrigation systems and production of horticultural crops using those technologies as well as in an open field.
• In 2020 SUGECO worked with Swiss contact under the Skills for Employability Project (SET Project) to develop and review training manuals and specific training modules on adult learning techniques and facilitation. SUGECO reviewed 5 modules and manuals for skills development in different agribusiness value chains
• From July 2018 to December 2020, SUGECO worked with Tanzania Education Authority (TEA) under Skills Development Fund (SDF) project to develop a training guide and train 148 youth on horticulture, beekeeping, and poultry farming. During the 24 months of the project, beneficiaries were trained on the basic tools of nursery establishment, beekeeping, and business skillsPROJECT LINK
The Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneur Cooperative (SUGECO) in collaboration with the Tanzania Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and the North-South Institute of Florida (NSI) recently evaluated the Poultry Value Chain and Markets in Tanzania.
This project was carried out in the regions of Dodoma, Dar es Salaam, Singida, Shinyanga, Tabora, Mtwara, Lindi, Mbeya, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Tanga, Mwanza, and Morogoro. The project was funded by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
This study’s main objective is to provide up-to-date information about poultry and poultry products consumer preferences and behavior, market trends, and value addition/processing in Tanzania and to make recommendations on branding and promotion of consumption of poultry and poultry products to all poultry value-chain actors in Tanzania.
This poultry project started in October 2022 and will end up in July 2023 with the collaboration of SUGECO and its partners.
The first step in the whole process was the creation of various questionnaires between the NSI and SUGECO in order to localize the content to reflect what is actually on the ground in Tanzania and make sure the right questions were being asked with the aim of accurately capturing the data appropriately from the different stakeholders.
The next step was the collection of data using focus group discussions in Dar es Salaam with the dialogue between parties focusing on the evaluation of the Poultry Value chain and various poultry markets in Tanzania. The discussion included different groups in the poultry value chain such as egg breeders, broiler slaughtering, sellers in supermarkets, those involved in the transportation of poultry meats, eggs, and many others.
Also, stakeholders from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) were present and they managed to participate and contribute to the different discussions.
In the discussion, were stakeholders from the United States specifically from the North-South Institute whose aim was to ascertain the situation of the poultry sector in Tanzania including its challenges, and to look at the best way of collaborating to improve the conditions for all the stakeholders.
The next step involved sending a group of enumerators out into the field to collect data on Poultry projects in various areas in Tanzania based on respondents like Feed Millers, Poultry Farmers, and households.
Lastly, SUGECO will come up with a report which will help to improve the Poultry industry in Tanzania.
The project targets youth and involves the construction and installation of 14 greenhouses in 14 Local Government authorities (LGAs).
The project has two parts:
-Training 20 youth on construction and installation of greenhouse in 14 District Councils in Ruvuma and Lindi Region. (280 trainees);
-Training youth on modern farming (horticultural production) using greenhouse technology involving 100 youth in 14 District Councils in Ruvuma and Lindi Region (1400 trainees)
SUGECO’s responsibility on the project was to conduct Training of Trainers (ToT) to youth who will train 1400 youth on construction and installation of greenhouse technology and farming techniques using greenhouse technology and in open field. In summary, the youth receive training on a wide variety of topics including greenhouse technology and installation and horticulture production, soil analysis and soil test, MINDSET change, leadership, ethics, and farming as a business.PROJECT LINK
This is a collaborative initiative, between SUGECO, Farm Africa, and Big Lottery Fund, aiming to address issues facing smallholder farmers (SHFs) in the Gairo and Kilosa Districts in Morogoro Region. The target groups were: smallholder farmers, extension workers, village leaders, farmers, nutrition officers, pregnant and lactating women, food vendors, food processors, market agents, and roadside sellers. 4000 participants were trained directly along with 20,000 indirectly.
The project, which focuses on the promotion of vitamin A-rich crops, such as the Viazi Lishe (Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato), within Tanzanian markets, aims to address issues of household poverty and malnutrition - associated with a lack of public consumption (and awareness) in regards to nutrient-dense produce. By supporting smallholder farmers (SHFs) in ten villages located in the Kilosa and Gairo districts, the project aims to support farmers growing and selling high quality cash crops, thereby playing an active role within both the harvest and market processes.
Along with addressing the barriers contributing to household malnutrition, the NACC project is also promoting the consumption of nutritious crops, such as Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP), Quality Protein Maize (QPM), sesame, beans and sunflower - produce commonly grown and consumed within the fertile region of southern Morogoro, Tanzania. Moreover, an increased emphasis on addressing the market-level constraints that Tanzanian SHFs face, such as those relating to the quality and level of their crop yields as well as establishing reliable buyer and market-level links, will also help increase household income, and simultaneously help address the nutritional deficiency prevalent amongst Tanzanian children as well as pregnant and lactating women - a major issue facing many SHFs and rural communities within Tanzania!
The NACC project, which primarily focuses on addressing the issue of food insecurity in Tanzania, also involves analysis of the specific community-based barriers facing SHFs, and women in particular; current support activities include: providing training in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), facilitating the processing of surplus, non-market standard produce, supporting the development of farmer links with target markets and identifying gender-based barriers that hinder active female participation in the agri-business field.
The project was implemented through the Mkongo Agricultural Youth Camp. During 2017/2019 over 1000 youth recruited from various Districts all over Tanzania who benefited from Agribusiness hands-on Skills Training to 860 youth on four selected value chains, Horticulture, Beekeeping, Roots and Tubers, and Poultry farming. The training was provided by SUGECO to young farmers to expose them to practical agribusiness skills, entrepreneurship, and mindset change that aim to bridge the agribusiness skills gap and create opportunities for youth to embark on enterprise development in the agribusiness value chain for self-employment and create a job for others.
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 the 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 a field session. During the two-week training, the youth were exposed to new agricultural technologies like the application of drip irrigation systems 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, the 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 to 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.
Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) in collaboration with International Trade Centre (ITC) conducted a three-day training on post-harvest management for horticultural products for the first time. The training was officially opened by SUGECO founder Dr. Anna Temu and closed by SUGECO Executive Director Mr. Revocatus Kimario. The training brought together 30 youths who learned on how to process and add value to their products. The fourteen youth were beneficiaries of the greenhouse from SUGECO, and the other sixteen youth were from different areas.
The training was conducted from 17th -to 19th October 2017 which includes five major issues in post-harvest management like post-harvest handling of fresh produce, horticultural products and nutrition, entrepreneurship in horticulture, hygiene, and product quality standards, and safety, and food processing and packaging. The youths came from Dodoma, Rufiji, and Morogoro, some of them have been supplying their produce to hotels in their respective areas.
The experienced trainers from SUGECO, SUA, delivered the training. Dr. R. Majubwa talked about the proper post-harvest handling of fresh produce. Dr. Mongi introduced hygiene, product quality standards, and safety. Dr. Gimbi presented various horticultural products and nutrition. Mr. J Massimba from SUGECO gave training on entrepreneurship in horticulture. Kathleen Novelia, SUGECO's Food Processing, and Preservation Officer introduced the benefits of sundried tomatoes and practical examples for food safety and handling.
We also received trainers from Jaunt Africa Company based in Dar es salaam who showed the practical training on food processing from several products in horticultural crops like mango pickle, tomato sauce, berries jam, yellow pepper sauce, dried papayas, and blanched green veggies. These products were successfully processed and packaged by the trainers.
On the last day of training the SUGECO Executive Director Mr. Revocatus Kimario left the trainees with the message “I believe that this short course training changes you a lot, I expect everyone to go back and sell the nutritional value present in the horticultural crops that you’re producing instead of selling the crops without knowing the nutritional content”. He added that the trainees will be confident in selling the horticultural crops after the training.PROJECT LINK
Building Nutritious Food Basket (BNFB) Project with support from International Potato Centre (CIP) together with Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO), conducted a three days Training of Trainers (TOT) on how to integrate bio-fortification in agribusiness. The training focused on three bio-fortified crops found in Tanzania which are highly rich in vitamin A such as PVA maize, Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP), and high iron beans.
The training was delivered to 30 youth from different areas who were SUGECO-returnees from Agro studies Internship in Israel, processors, farmers, and suppliers of the crops. It was conducted from 31st January to 2nd February 2018 in the SUGECO conference hall located at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) Morogoro. The trainees were engaged intensively in hands-on training by sharing experience and knowledge with an expert Mr. Antonio who is the owner of Euro Ingredients Company located in Nairobi-Kenya. He shared product recipes that can be made out of OFSP such as OFSP concentrate, puree out of steamed OFSP, and OFSP milkshake.
Apart from that, an expert from Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) Miss Mary Mdachi demonstrated how to prepare high iron beans porridge, alongside the introduction of biofortified iron beans seeds namely Selian 14 and Selian 15 which are to be used by farmers in order to increase consumption of nutritious crops, to reduce the problem of hidden hunger in our society, and to increase productivity.
Also, the training was delivered by SUGECO staff and experts from other institutions such as AFCO Investment Company, BNFB project, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), SRI-Kibaha, and CIP. The main objective was to raise awareness in our society on nutritious crops, address the problem of hidden hunger, highlight the importance of consuming biofortified crops in relation to nutrition status, and marketing of the bio-fortified crops in Tanzania.PROJECT LINK
Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO), in collaboration with International Trade Centre (ITC), jointly conducted training for horticultural farmers in Dodoma and Morogoro in May 2018. The training focused on empowering 60 youth, of whom fifteen are the beneficiaries of the ``Integration of Horticulture Supply/Value Chains into Tourism - SECO component project implemented by SUGECO.
The workshop was officially opened by Hon. Anthony Mavunde, Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister`s Office responsible for Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Youth, Labor, Employment, and People with Disabilities. During the workshop, the Deputy Minister explained the opportunities available for youth in the government and the strategic plans put by the government to make sure that youths are getting support to reduce unemployment.
``The government has a strategy to install greenhouses in each region in order to provide knowledge of modern agriculture, and also has set a total of 200, 000 acres in the Youth Economic Zone for youth to engage in commercial farming,” Mavunde said.
Additionally, Mr. Fredrick Couty, ITC’s senior advisor for the packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables, said that ITC supports developing countries to design and implement trade strategies. He added that the reason ITC wants to collaborate with SUGECO is to improve the horticultural productivity and build capacity for the youth in Tanzania.
Ray Mark received 7 million /- from the government to install a greenhouse. The funds were designated for youth in the Miyuji area of Dodoma to engage in smart farming. Mark is also becoming a champion in encouraging more youth to engage in agriculture and helping them to change their perception that the industry is poor people’s work.
In January 2019, the Government launched an agribusiness training project at SUGECO in Morogoro. The project aimed at capacitating youth on farming technologies and teaching them skills in greenhouse construction and the production of horticulture crops in the greenhouse. This project is implemented by SUGECO with other two companies in eighty-four (84) District Councils in 12 Regions. The project will benefit almost 20,000 youth in either construction on horticultural production.
In order to implement this project, the Government through Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labor, Employment, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities has set aside 2.9bn to equip the youth with knowledge to transform agriculture and create employment opportunities for themselves in agribusiness.
During the launching of the project, Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labor, Employment, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Anthony Mavunde said that “The Youth are economically enabled so that they can also bid for tenders and also provide training consultancies on greenhouse construction, installation, and farming technology”
The Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for persons with disabilities Stella Ikupa added that “I would advise that for every 100 youths trained in each District Council that the Councils include 20 persons with disabilities”
In March 2021 SUGECO conducted five (5) days of Training of Trainers (ToT) to agricultural training providers who are under the Morogoro Society of Professional Agribusiness Trainers (MOSPAT) platform from 22nd to 26th at SUGECO Morogoro. The training was sponsored by SWISS CONTACT under the Skills for Employability in Tanzania (SET) Project.
The ToT was designed to enhance trainees’ hands-on knowledge delivery skills and facilitate training in formal and informal settings. The training was designed to equip participants with skills on how to apply adult learning approaches, and the use of facilitation techniques and methods in facilitating Agriculture and Agribusiness skills training for employability.
They also trained on integrating cross-cutting issues in designing and developing the step-down training programs. Furthermore, trainees were exposed and trained to deliver diverse and well-designed practical sessions related to agricultural primary production, value addition, agricultural technologies, and agricultural marketing and agribusiness.
A total of eight (8) comprehensive practical activities were conducted such as seed sowing using the tray and peat moss technologies, installation of drip irrigation system, soya beans preparation, Orange fleshed Sweet potato (OFSP) Puree making, drying of OFSP, and market intelligence tour visit at Mawenzi and Kingalu markets in Morogoro.
A total of 39 trainers participated in the training from formal and informal training providers. This includes participants from District Agricultural Offices, Agricultural Training Institutes, and Training providers in the informal sector.
In May 2021 SUGECO conducted training on market protocols for women traders in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mbeya, and Mwanza. In Dar es Salaam the training was conducted for two days from 3rd to 4th May 2021 as well as in other Regions the training was conducted for two days from 10th to 11th May 2021. Over 353 participants comprised of women traders, market leaders, TWCC Members, and Regional Trade Officers attended the training including 43 males and 310 females.
The training was organized by the Tanzania Women Chamber of Commerce (TWCC) and funded by Trademark East Africa (TMEA). The training focused on women food traders on the available food market protocols and their applicability, safe trade procedures under the COVID -19 pandemic in Tanzania, food safety and hygiene, entrepreneurship and business skills, financial literacy, Marketing and Market Intelligence, Business Innovation, record keeping, digital business, and business plan development.
The majority of the participants were food vendors and aggregators in fruits and vegetables, practicing agribusiness as their carrier option in the big local markets located in these four Regions. These markets have the potential of becoming hot spots for transmission of the virus because they are characterized by a crowded population of customers (buyers) and traders (sellers).
Therefore SUGECO in collaboration with TWCC conducted the training in order to make the markets safe during the COVID-19 crisis in safeguarding women’s health and ensuring the continuity of their business which is key in feeding Tanzania’s population.
This training was conducted by Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) in collaboration with Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) and was sponsored by Trademark East Africa (TMEA) for MSMEs in different Agribusiness Value Chains.
The training was conducted at SUGECO Headquarters-Morogoro as well as onsite in Arusha, the Coastal, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, and Kilimanjaro Regions. It was attended by 30 MSMEs and the majority of the trainees were primary food producers and processors in different value chains such as horticulture, cereals, apiary, nuts, oils, and spices.
The main objective of conducting this training was to build MSMEs’ capacities in Compliance with Standards and Access to Markets in Tanzania and to increase the adoption of Food Management Systems such as Good Hygiene Practices (GHPs), Good Handling Practices (also called GHPs), or Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) among MSMEs involved in the food business. It also targeted to create a transformative mindset toward Entrepreneurship and Good Business Management, Financial Literacy, Marketing, Business Ideation, and Market Intelligence. Technical Expert from the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), and Regional Trade Officer (RTO) also joined hands with SUGECO in facilitating the Training.
SUGECO in collaboration with the Skills for Employability in Tanzania (SET) Project conducted a Ten-days Training in different batches for the youths from January to March 2022 focused on the Commercial Production of Habanero Chili (RZ Loleza F1). The training targeted 100 Youth, Women, and Young Mothers from the Morogoro Region who are out of school and out of jobs to build their capacity to produce quality habanero chili needed by Darsh Industries Limited, a ready market for and under the SUGECO Kizimba Business Model (KBM).
KBM is a model that will uniquely recruit, enroll, incubate and sustain youth enterprises in horticultural agribusinesses, addressing the unemployment challenge, addressing the skills gap, and creating contractual farming arrangements for selected horticultural crops.
Participants were equipped with practical hands-on skills in the production of a good quantity and quality Habanero Chilli and other horticultural crops. They were trained in skills including Farm Preparation, Preparation of Raised Beds, Preparation of Soil, Sowing, Application of Manure and Fertilizers, Application of Agricultural Technologies such as Drip Irrigation, Weed and Pest control, Harvesting, and Marketing.
This year 2022 SUGECO through the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Ministry of Labor, Youth, Employment and Persons with Disabilities was awarded a project to train youths in the construction of screen houses and the production of horticultural crops using greenhouse technology.
The project was conducted in four regions of Tanzania including; Tabora, Singida, Pwani, and Dar es Salaam covering the respective twenty-nine (29) District councils in those Regions. In each District Council, over 100 youths benefited from the training. Youths were equipped with practical skills to enable them to do the production. They were able to learn by doing. They were engaged in the preparation of ridges in the greenhouses and in the open field, the planting, and transplanting of tomato seedlings, preparation of soil for seed sowing, identification of the common diseases for horticultural crops and their management, application of crop support for crops planted in the screen house and the general business aspects of horticulture.
This is the second time SUGECO is being awarded this project with the first time being way back in 2019 where 1,400 youths from Lindi and Ruvuma Regions also benefited from the training program.PROJECT LINK
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 (UNFAO), 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.
In the year 2019, the training sessions for youth passionate about agri-business and entrepreneurship focused on subjects ranging from horticulture, bee-keeping, Poultry and Goat/Rabbit Farming. Whilst at the camp, SUGECO’s experienced trainers promote 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.
From 2016 to present through Mkongo Agricultural Youth Camp, SUGECO trained over 1500 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.