SUA graduates venture into modern horticulture farming

09Jan 2019
Beatrice Philemon
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
SUA graduates venture into modern horticulture farming

THREE graduates from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) have embarked into modern horticulture farming to create jobs for Tanzanian youth as well as addressing poverty.

GRADUATES

Executive director of Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperation (SUGECO), Revocatus Kimario said that the graduates are operating under the company called ‘You Spice Limited’, which is located Rufiji District.

 

He said that the young entrepreneurs have secured a 50-acre land in Mkongo village for the horticultural activities.

 

Kimario said that the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank Limited (TADB) has issued 200m/- to the entrepreneurs to implement the project in the district.

 

“The bank was impressed to see the business plan of the young graduates, who have decided to venture into serious production of onions and tomatoes,” he said, noting that the two crops are highly demanded in local and international markets.

 

Apart from direct benefits, the agribusiness venture is set to benefit many people who are in the onion and tomato value chain.

 

Before venturing into the horticultural farming, the three youth took part in a one-year agro- studies internship program in Israel.

 

The internship provides a unique apprenticeship in agriculture, combining advanced studies and hands on ‘learning by doing ‘in various fields. With working in selected farms across Israel, each student is ensured to nurture in the most enabling and stimulating learning environment, exposing them to the most advanced agricultural working methods.

Kimario said that the graduates were in Israel to put into practice what they have learned in theatre halls, so that can become more competent in agribusiness project and create employment to other youth.

 

While in Israel graduates were empowered with a number of skills in vegetable and citrus production, marketing, packaging, farm management, drip irrigation system and other farming technologies.

 You Spice Limited, chief operation officer, Dickson Alex said: “Out of 50-acres land, we’re going to start with ten for onion and tomato farming.”

 

It is estimated that more than 60 percent of Africa's young people are jobless or underemployed, and formal job creation efforts in Africa's growing economies have been insufficient, according to African Economic Outlook.

Comprising 20 percent of Africa’s population, Tanzania and Nigeria together represent an important opportunity for intervention in skills acquisition, job creation and employment for youth.