The Youth in Agriculture Development Initiative (YADI) as coordinated by TGFA aims at facilitating the development and implementations of programs that will promote and capture the interest and commitment of Tanzania entrepreneurial youth, particularly young graduates who are in / are to form and join organized groups of agro entrepreneurs so as to tap into agriculture and agriculture-related opportunities.
Although the focus is self motivated and interested young graduates will be the primary focus of this initiative, other non-target groups such as school drop outs, secondary students, organized groups, female and women agro entrepreneurs will also be included.
The initiative also aims to promote facilitation for developing support structures and incentive opportunities for its target where possible. The purpose of this initiative is more than just promoting youth engagement in agriculture and creating interest in developing their skills by learning and adoption of agricultural best practices but also promoting youth pursuing agriculture and agriculture related as a career and encouraging the graduates from colleges and universities to embark on agriculture-related activities.
Achievements will be through coordinated activities for supporting formation of youth led enterprises, cooperatives, access and use of productive resources after learning and implement skills development in agriculture, entrepreneurship and business management for innovation, adopting and using of value added technologies including labour saving and modern ICT tools through practical trainings and incubation support followed by mentorship and advisory services. To ensure sustainability links to provision of incentives such as finance, seed capital as well as representation in decision making at different levels by coordinated platforms for business linkage and networking among youth agro entrepreneurs.
Objective of initiative
To empower youth especially graduates to tap into opportunities in agriculture value chain by exposing to opportunities enhancing agriculture business linkages through adoption and using of reliable techniques, value added products and services while developing their skills and knowledge in entrepreneurial business management.
As part of the awareness campaign it must be stated very clearly that one does not need to own a farm or live in rural areas to be involved in agricultural activities. There are a series of activities where people can get involved despite the fact that they may not have any background in agriculture. The initiative should also undertake to market the spin-offs of agriculture, which are currently totally understated, and generally not seen as part of agriculture.
Together with the implementation of programs emanating from this initiative researching of the current state of youth awareness, youth interest and youth involvement in agriculture should be undertaken. Current enrolment and placement after completion of tertiary education should also be monitored and recorded. This would enable the country to be in a position to understand the trends and also to predict the future situation as well as to take corrective steps where necessary.
The purpose will be achieved through multi disciplinary and mult stakeholders partnerships and formal collaboration with other development organizations and governments to do the following:
- Rebranding of the agricultural sector through awareness and learning events (Agriculture value chain and climate smart agriculture practices), orientation by encouragement and mindset transformation through sharing opportunities available in agriculture value chains.
- Mapping youth in agriculture initiatives by carrying a scoping study to identify the existing feasible agriculture value chain opportunities, existing plans and programs while assess barriers/bottlenecks and propose interventions that will empower youths and youth groups to tap into opportunities at a given locality.
- Organization and facilitation of youth consultative meetings and workshops that will bring together key players in development, agriculture and agriculture related sectors with youth groups, cooperatives, organizations and leaders.
- Establish youth in agriculture help line (Kilimo Line) and an online platform that will enable youth and agro entrepreneurs to access and get updates on profitable opportunities to market and expand their business, networking with customers, professionals and among themselves.
- Setting up and improving the availability of useful and use friendly agricultural information on opportunities at WARCs, ARCs, Learning institutions that will motivate youth to develop potential to agriculture value chains.
- Documenting youth in agriculture success stories and best practices using “Graduate Farmer/Agro entrepreneur Filming”.
- In collaboration with stakeholders to organize and facilitate learning and social events amongst the youth to develop and strengthen their capacities on how best to tap into opportunities while addressing challenges, exchange and developing innovative business ideas, exhibition of goods and services produced by youth.
- Conduct tailor made trainings on entrepreneurship and agriculture business management, modern agriculture techniques, ICT for Agriculture and development to organized youth groups, community and extension workers
- Facilitate and promote youth and graduate agro entrepreneurs to form and join formal groups such as cooperatives and formal business entities to enable business linkages and networking, exchange of useful informations as well as providing technical and business advises.
- Promote youth and group land acquisition for establishment of collective agricultural projects to solve the problem of land access and ownership.
- Establishment and developing of existing youth in agriculture camps to and agribusiness villages “Graduate farmer villages”, that will be used as a centre for excellence and practical trainings and will consist of mechanizes, information centers and storage facilities.
- Championing creating matching grant and seed money for young people and graduates who are well organized with feasible business plan with skills in agri business management. Hold dialogues and consultation meeting with key stakeholders in agriculture sector for enhancing the establishment of conducive business environment for youth to engage in Agriculture value chain.
- Unpack development strategies and framework such as MDGs, SDGs at a global level, CAADP Agenda at regional level and ASDPs at a national level through existing government led fora and private sector initiatives to facilitate better advocacy, representation and participation of youth at all levels.
- Continuous mentoring youth and agri entrepreneurship through visits, online help desk and business and skills promotions.