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Глобальный форум по продовольственной безопасности и питанию
• Форум FSN

Re: Youth Employment in Agriculture as a Solid Solution to ending Hunger and Poverty in Africa

Paschal Nchunda
Paschal NchundaTanzania Agricultural Modernization Association (TAMA)United Republic of Tanzania

My contribution will look at my experience as youth in agriculture. I decided to engage in agriculture even before I completed my first degree, late 2006 - over 12 years ago when I founded a non-profit making organization, Tanzania Agricultural Modernization Association (TAMA), My impression was to help smallholder farmers have access to good agricultural practices so that they can improve productivity. Many youth whom I motivated to join my journey left me alone. In 2012 I decided to recruit new members in my organization and we started engaging youth in small scale commercial horticulture farming in Bukoba, Tanzania. We managed to have 5 big greenhouses and I managed to draw back the demotivated youth to re-engage in agriculture. Due to weather changes, strong wind completely distorted the greenhouses and we remained with naked farms. Because we had no financial support from any organization, we decided to start from the scratch and jumped to sweet potato production. We have managed to organize more youth in groups and registered them as legal entities. They are now actively engaged in orange fleshed sweet potato production. Recently we have formed a farmer’s owned private company, Wakulima Agri-Food Company Limited whose roles will be to collect sweet potato, process and market the value added products. The challenges facing youth is capital. No banks are ready to lend youth because they lack collaterals. Youth don’t own any fixed assets. They are not targeted by financial institutions. Due to this, youth get despaired to actively engage in agriculture. The good example is, we need to have high quality sweet potato processing machine to process sweet potato into biscuits and chocolates but the capacity to purchase such machines is meagre. Youth are ready to engage in agriculture when there is clear processing and value addition strategies for their farm produce.