THE US government has sponsored 58 Tanzanian students to study agriculture, nutrition and related fields at universities in Tanzania and abroad.
Speaking at the farewell programme he hosted on Monday, the US Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Alfonso Lenhardt, said that the training opportunities have laid the foundation for agricultural development in the country for generations.
"This is the second batch of trainees sponsored by Feed the Future for over five years. Feed the future will sponsor 120 Tanzanians at postgraduate programmes in agricultural and nutrition sciences," he said.
The Feed the Future Initiative was launched by the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Tanzania in June 2011. Feed the Future is the US government's global hunger and food security initiative that supports Tanzanian driven approaches to address causes of hunger and poverty.
The ambassador said that currently there were six Tanzanian students pursuing either masters or doctoral degrees in the US. "Of the 58 students sponsored this year, 29 of them will pursue masters and PhD degrees in agriculture and nutritional sciences at six American universities," he said.
These Universities are Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Virginia Tech, Tuskegee University, University of Florida, and Iowa State University. However, 19 trainees will pursue Bachelors and Masters degrees at Sokoine University of Agriculture, and nine trainees will pursue Masters and PhD degrees at African universities outside Tanzania.
He said that this will only be achieved if the students show their commitment in pursuing their studies. "In order for the country to achieve agriculture development leading to economic development, the country requires strong leadership, dedication and innovation," he said.
The envoy urged them to make sure that they lead the agriculture revolution not only in Tanzania but Africa at large. In his welcoming remarks the Chief of Party Innovative Agriculture Research Initiative, Mr Dave Kraybill, said that the objective of the project was to support PhD and Masters degree for 2013-2014.