Decent Rural Employment

FAO’s promotion of decent employment opportunities for rural youth producers in Tanzania. Meet Adam, the rural youth union leader


Adam Athumani is a young, 19 years old, agro entrepreneur and youth leader from the village of Mampando in Singida region in Tanzania mainland.  

Adam, comes from a family of agro producers and in the past he was working with them on the family productions of maize, sunflower and sorghum. As a newlywed, Adam wanted to have his own agro business and to provide on his own for his young family.  

After he attended a 2 weeks training organized by FAO in June 2011 in Kibaha on agricultural skills, production, agribusiness etc., using the JFFLS methodology, Adam, went back to his village and debriefed the leaders of the local cooperative (Kipunda AMCOS) on the outcomes of the training and his wish to pursue a career in agriculture with other young people like him. The cooperative leaders were positively touched by his interest and promised to cooperate with him in mobilizing more young people in the area and attract them in the agriculture sector. Jointly with the cooperative and village leaders, Adam, managed to mobilize 120 young men and young women, now increased to 150. After organizing the group, Adam and his peers, managed to secure 300 acres of land from the regional commissioner to start up their commercial agro activities.

The youth farmers’ group was not initially given inputs and to address this constraint they applied for credit from the government and were able to receive 7 million Tanzanian shillings (about 4,500 US$) which helped them to buy their first set of inputs.

The group has been later on officially recognized as a youth union by both the government (village and regional level) and by the primary society Union and is affiliated with the Tanzania Federation of Cooperatives (TFC).

The youth union is presently cultivating sunflower which is a commercial crop with significant returns in their area; dividends will be shared equally among the members. They have also planned to integrate crops cultivation with livestock production. Buying a tractor is also planned for the near future which will contribute to the transition into a semi-mechanized agriculture. 

Adam has also been invited, as a youth representative, to a strategic planning workshop organized by FAO in May 2012 attended by various government ministries, UN agencies, producers’ federation and unions and research institutes. During the workshop, he presented his youth union experience and also advised the stakeholders attending the event on possible and concrete solutions for young people to overcome different constraints while pursuing a career in the agriculture sector.   

As Adam puts it in his own words: - ‘’Agro business need patience and good planning, youth can benefit a lot from it, if they work as a group. This can be easily done if there is a cooperative assisting rural youth in their access to land and markets and would be very simple to attract young people in the agriculture sector if the government recognizes youth efforts and wishes to be part of commercial agriculture’’.

Contact in FAO Tanzania: Eliamoni Lyatuu, National Coordinator ([email protected])

Contact in FAO HQ: Francesca Dalla Valle, Youth Employment and Institutional Partnerships Specialist ([email protected])

Contact in the Tanzania Federation of Cooperatives (TFC): Emmanuel S. Mdidi, Communication Officer ([email protected])

For more info on youth employment activities in Tanzania: