25 June 2018

Tanzania: Endear Youngsters to Agriculture - Plea

THE government has been urged to reintroduce agriculture sector related subjects in schools, as part of inputs into successful implementation of the recently launched Agricultural Sector Development Programme 2 (ASDP - 2), as well as reinforcing efforts by the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) .

The call comes from the Chunya District Administrative Secretary (DAS), Ms Mahija Nyembo.

It was one of the highlights of her introductory remarks ahead of a one-day meeting organised by SAGCOT in Chunya Town.

Its thrust was issues related to agricultural development in the Mbarali Cluster, which comprises Songwe and Mbeya regions.

Ms Nyembo said that SAGCOT's support would be significantly helpful to maize growers in Chunya, whose major challenges included difficulties in accessing the market.

Nostalgically, she narrated to the participants that agriculture was one of the subjects that she studied as a student at Mpanda Girls' Secondary School.

"We don't have such schools now, as a consequence of which it is not easy to encourage youngsters to acknowledge the importance of agriculture and embrace it as a career opening," she said, adding:"The SAGCOT move is commendable, for which we are greatly thankful.

The project has come at the right time, because private sector support is crucial for empowering farmers," she further explained.

The SAGCOT coordinator in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Julius Nyalusi, echoed the sentiments, stressing that, imparting and enhancing agriculture- related awareness on the youths would help consolidate the sector considerably.

Mr Nyalusi remarked, too, that farmers would benefit tremendously from SAGCOT support through experts who would be deployed to test the quality of the soil in specific areas.

The Chunya Agricultural Officer, Mr Paulo Lugodisha, reinforced the sentiments, noting that SAGCOTsponsored training for district officials would contribute significantly to enhancing agricultural sector development prospects.

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