Commemoration of Edward Sokoine Highlights Importance of Agriculture and Youth Involvement

Morogoro, Tanzania – Paul Kimiti, Chairman of the Julius Nyerere Memorial Institute, delivered a compelling message to the youth, urging them to embrace agriculture to achieve economic freedom wholeheartedly.

Kimiti made these remarks during the 18th commemoration ceremony at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro. The event, attended by distinguished guests, including Judith Nguli, District Commissioner of Mvomero, paid tribute to the late Prime Minister Edward Sokoine and emphasized the vital role of agriculture in the nation’s development.

In an eloquent speech, Kimiti shared the invaluable lessons passed down by his father, encapsulated in the acronym “TA-TE-TI-TO-TU,” which represents the principles of excelling in one’s work, defending it, fulfilling duties, offering advice when necessary, and repenting or apologizing for any disruption caused. He stressed that these principles align perfectly with pursuing a prosperous agricultural sector. (TA maana yake fanya vizuri kazi yako, TE (Tetea kazi yako), TI (Timiza wajibu wako), TO (Toa ushauri pale unapoona mambo hayaendi vizuri) na TU maana yake tubu au omba radhi kama umevuruga kazi yako.)

Kimiti revealed his personal journey in promoting agriculture, recounting his transfer to the party’s headquarters in 1969, where he penned the seminal book “TANU Politics in Agriculture” in 1971. That same year, he authored another influential work titled “Good Leadership in Rural Areas,” aimed at inspiring young people to participate actively in agricultural activities.

Drawing attention to the visionary leadership of Edward Sokoine, Kimiti emphasized the late Prime Minister’s resolute stance on youth engagement in agriculture. Sokoine, recognizing the significance of this sector, crafted the groundbreaking Prime Minister’s Circular Number One in 1983, entitled “National Economic, Labor, and Importance of New Enthusiasm.” The circular explicitly called for an end to the troubling trend of rural exodus among young people, emphasizing the need for a steadfast commitment to rural work.

Judith Nguli, the District Commissioner of Mvomero, lauded Sokoine’s pivotal role in agricultural reform, specifically his unwavering determination to achieve food self-sufficiency for the nation. Nguli called upon the youth to emulate Sokoine’s professionalism, patriotism, and work ethic, urging them to invest their talents and resources in the agricultural sector.

Adding his voice to the discussion, Justice Joseph Warioba, the esteemed former Chief Justice of Tanzania and current head of SUA, emphasized the necessity of comprehensive policies and guidelines that prioritize agriculture as the cornerstone of national development. Warioba highlighted the crucial role such measures play in attracting young people to participate in farming and related activities actively.

The commemoration event, held under the theme “Enabling Environment for Youth Participation in the Agriculture Sector: Policies, Guidelines, and Performance,” served as a powerful reminder of the enduring legacy of Edward Sokoine and his relentless pursuit of a prosperous and self-sufficient Tanzania. As Kimiti’s impassioned plea resounds, the youth are encouraged to embrace agriculture as a means of sustenance and as a gateway to economic liberation and national progress.

Edward Sokoine was a prominent Tanzanian political figure and a staunch advocate for agricultural development. Born on August 1, 1938, in Monduli, Northern Tanzania, Sokoine played a significant role in shaping the country’s agricultural policies during his tenure as Prime Minister from 1980 until his untimely death in 1984.

Sokoine’s dedication to agriculture stemmed from his upbringing and experiences in rural Tanzania. He witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by farmers and the critical importance of agriculture for national development. Determined to address these issues, he dedicated his career to improving farming practices, promoting self-sufficiency, and uplifting rural communities.

One of Sokoine’s notable achievements was his emphasis on agricultural reform and the mobilization of youth to engage in farming. He recognized that agriculture could serve as a catalyst for economic growth and believed that empowering young people in this sector was essential for the nation’s progress. Through policies and initiatives, Sokoine sought to create an enabling environment for youth participation in agriculture, with a particular focus on encouraging them to remain in rural areas and contribute to the development of farming communities.

Sokoine’s initiatives were guided by the principles of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. He stressed the need for Tanzanians to take control of their own food production and reduce dependency on imports. By prioritizing farming and implementing strategies to enhance agricultural productivity, Sokoine aimed to ensure food security and promote economic stability.

To further his goals, Sokoine placed great importance on education and knowledge dissemination in the agricultural sector. He recognized the significance of equipping farmers with modern techniques, technologies, and best practices to maximize productivity. Sokoine championed the establishment of agricultural training institutions and research centers, facilitating knowledge transfer and capacity building among farmers.

Sokoine’s tragic death on April 12, 1984, in a car accident near Dakawa, Morogoro, was a profound loss for Tanzania. However, his legacy and impact on agriculture remain enduring. His visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to farming continue to inspire policymakers, farmers, and agricultural experts in Tanzania and beyond.