He was speaking here at the launch of paddy harvesting season at a 50-acre paddy farm that belongs to Agri-Ajira Group of young smallholders in Kilosa district who were sponsored by Petrobena East Africa Ltd that agriculture stood a better chance to transform their lives.
He also praised Petrobena , a local distributor of Yara fertiliser and farm inputs, for backing Agri-Ajira Group to the hilt. The group has a modern paddy farm that creates direct and indirect jobs for Kilosa residents.
“I commend and praise this company under the leadership of Peter Kumalilwa for trotting on the government path. You are doing the needful to make Tanzania a middle-income nation by 2025,” he said, adding that the company is focusing on promoting and reforming agricultural sector’s performance so that the sector generates enough quality crops and creates jobs for people, especially the youths.
Mavunde also lauded Agri-Ajira Group members, who include college graduate, for showing the way. He called on college students countrywide to desist from chasing imaginary jobs or selecting jobs on the market.
He said Tanzania’s ambition to become an industrial nation will remain a distant dream if farms will produce insufficient and poor-quality crops for local industries.
Kumalilwa thanked the minister for visiting the farm, saying that such high-level visits to farming groups motivates members and make unemployed youths see sense in engaging in farming. He also thanked Morogoro Regional Commissioner Steven Kebwe for being sincere and practical in helping jobless and desperate youths.
He said Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) has also shown interest of supporting the group formed by graduates from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA).
“We are very proud of you honourable deputy minister for taking time and giving us words of encouragement. We are confident in you,” Kumalilwa explained.
SUA graduate Samweli Kitila said the group’s achievements were hard-won and thanked the company for its unflinching support.
“We overcame different challenges until we met Petrobena officials who have made our dreams come true. It wasn’t easy,” he said.