THE Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) together with the Agricultural Non State Actors forum (ANSAF) and BEST AC have announced a separate category in Journalism Excellence Award on agriculture and agribusiness.
The ANSAF Executive Director, Mr Audax Rukonge told journalists in Dar es Salaam that in previous years, agriculture was part of the category in economic and business category. "For the first time this year, this category will be on. Journalists who have been reporting on agriculture and agribusiness topics will be awarded," he said.
Mr Rukonge said that the rationale behind the category stemmed from the fact that the majority of Tanzanians in rural areas depended on agriculture for their livelihood and over 85 per cent of the nations' population engaged in agricultural activities.
To stimulate growth and up-scaling in the agricultural sector he said, information on the ease or unease of being a small holder farmer or entrepreneur in rural Tanzania was central.
"The agro sector is one of the key engines for generating jobs for youth, though the road to success entrepreneurship knows many hurdles," he said. Mr Rukonge explained that the category would have three sub categories namely reporting on the rural business enforcement, reporting on rural citizen engagement and reporting in agriculture and agribusiness.
Mr Hans Determeyer from BEST AC said that the category aimed at engaging journalists to submit their entries that would focus on either of the sub categories that would provide them with opportunities to scoop the award. He said that the category also aimed at empowering reporters in rural areas to participate in this year's competition.
"Journalists often fail to cover rural areas due to limited budgets, time constraints and lack of access to relevant contacts. This category will be fully funded by BEST AC and ANSAF," he said.