Assurance of the horticulture market from Iringa based Darsh Industries Limited will also ensure that youth entrepreneurs involved in the project earn regular income from the company which specializes in process fruits and vegetables.
Rajkumar Shinde from the Darsh Industries Limited assured Minister for Agriculture, Professor Adolf Mkenda who made a prompt visit of the project in last week that his company will provide a reliable market for commodities produced by SUGEO graduates.
Citing an example, he said Darsh Industries Limited has capacity to buy 250 metric tonnes of fresh tomatoes per day. He said the requirement of the raw materials by the industries is higher compared to what is being supplied by the farmers in Iringa region. “We need more and that’s why we have partnered with SUGECO to buy from them because the produce will have high quality since its supervised and managed well,” Shinde said.
According to SUGECO, KBM is an entrepreneurial approach for agriculture sector development where a block of land is developed with all necessary infrastructure and facilities divided into small units called ‘Kizimba’ and leased or transferred to individual farmers.
With his famous slogan ‘Ukitaka mali utaipata shambani,’ Minister for Agriculture Prof Mkenda urged the youth who are looking for jobs to join the agriculture sector because it is one of the most reliable sources of income.
Prof Mkenda said KBM will provide youth with a wide range of experience and practical skills from which they can be able to employ themselves and create jobs for their peers. “I am told that young people who will join this project will be able to get a minimum of five hundred thousand cash per month. This is a good project and I encourage other youth to venture in agriculture for reliable income,” he said.
He said the government will work with youth projects to secure more local and international markets for their produce. Prof Mkenda directed National Irrigation Commission to work with SUGECO at the site to ensure that production is done throughout the year.
“The government would like to call on banks and financial institutions to create an enabling environment that will allow youth access to credit so that they can engage in ‘Kizimba’ Business Model, increase production and productivity to create employment.
Mvomero District Commissioner, Halima Okash commended all stakeholders for creating an enabling environment for youth to employ themselves and their peers. “There are many youth out there who don’t have jobs who can benefit from this project. I assure you that the government will provide full support to the end,” Okash said.
Briefing the Minister about the project, SUGECO Executive Director, Revocutus Kimaro said the project area has a total of 1,500 acres of sixty acres have been cleared and more than 10 acres ploughed with expectation to clear and plough the whole areas by the end of this month.
“We expect to start growing Habanero chili. We expect to get and grow improved seeds from one of our partners and supply the produce to Darsh Industries Limited,” Kimaro said while adding that the project is expected to grow more than 200 acres that will be able to employ over 480 youth.
“We are committed and determined to feed Darsh Industries with high quality products. To start with, the project will start with horticulture crops such as Habanero chili,” he said.
The KBM has its origins in the local government authorities (LGA) whereby business structures are built with necessary infrastructure and divided into units. The units are leased to individuals for various business operations as Kizimba.
Cuso International-Tanzania Country Representative, Romanus Mtung’e, said one of the key objectives of Cuso in supporting the ‘Kizimba’ initiative to reach many young farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs for the creation of the competent human resource in agriculture sector relevant to market demand and potential to improve productivity.
Mtung’e said Cuso International will keep supporting SUGECO in the entire business ecosystem of the ‘Kizimba’ entrepreneurs. “The support will include bringing in the country expert volunteers and recruiting national volunteers to support SUGECO’s staff capacity building and the agribusiness entrepreneurs to be able to have effective access to knowledge, market, finance, technology and business formalization processes,” he said.