Speaking to this paper, SUGECO’s executive director, Revocatus Kimario said that 2018 was a year of working and development towards enabling youth release their dreams by engaging in agribusiness.
The executive director also cited increased government engagements and support as among the major successes to be honoured.
According to him, a number of projects and agreements were signed between the organisation and other firms with the aim of encouraging young people engage in agriculture activities as their commercial business.
He also said that SUGECO managed to establish partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
“In collaboration with UNCTAD, we managed to run 6 training courses on farming as business (FAAB) at SUGECO, where over 180 youth had been trained by UNCTAD expertise,” he noted.
Moreover, the cooperative strengthened its partnership with International Trade Centre (ITC) where 60 youth were trained on market linkages and packaging with expertise from Geneva, Switzerland.
SUGECO and private agricultural sector support (PASS) Tanzania has partnered in establishing youth incubator programme in Morogoro.
“In collaboration with Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) we have succeeded in continuing to enrol undergraduates for Israel internship to learn various agricultural technologies,” he noted.
He said the programme started with twenty undergraduates per year in 2015 and now the number has increased up to 45 last year. A total of 125 had been enrolled so far.
The executive director further highlighted that as part of SUGECO’s campaign to create awareness of the production and consumption of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP) to combat the problems associated with Vitamin A deficiency and malnutrition, income generation and youth employment, SUGECO in collaboration with Building Nutritious Food Basket (BNFB) has trained 300 people on the value addition and processing of OFSP and integrating bio fortified crops in agribusiness.
In this regard, they managed to reach a total number of 300 who are now processing and cultivating OFSP due to its nutritional benefit for the body, many people benefited from their trainings and most of them are now engaging in value addition.
Highlighting on growing and increasing number of businesses through SUGECO incubation service, Kimario said through their incubation services, business startups has increased and start-up companies had been established through SUGECO.
“So far we have 20 companies operating under SUGECO with our close supervision and mentorship.” he said.
The programme continues to attract students from different universities who are coming to SUGECO to learn about agribusiness value chains and agriculture in general.
SUGECO is a cooperative that was registered under Tanzania Cooperative Act (2003) in July 2011. It was championed by group of 40 members, primarily undergraduate, finalists and postgraduate students who were aspiring to start their own businesses, especially in agricultural sector after they graduate from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and the academic members of staff in the department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness of SUA.
The main goal of SUGECO is to make a difference in the minds of communities and graduates from higher learning institutions towards self-employment, agribusiness development, job creation, community development and economic prosperity.