President Samia Suluhu Hassan has said that the government will fulfil its promise to enable young people to engage in commercial farming through the large-scale farming program. She does not want to hear that the project has failed. She also wants to see results from the project and warns that the money allocated for agriculture should not be misused even by a single shilling.
President Samia made these remarks in Dodoma during the launch of joint large-scale farms and agricultural equipment, including machinery, vehicles, and drones, under Building a Better Tomorrow Youth Initiative in Agri-business (BBT-YIA).
The event also coincided with the signing of 33 feasibility study, design, construction, and renovation contracts for irrigation schemes between the National Irrigation Commission and contractors, costing approximately TZS 146 billion, with projects expected to start in the 2023/2024 fiscal year. President Samia also handed over a cheque of TZS 200 million to eligible youth engaged in farming. She said that the government’s decision to invest in agriculture is the beginning of a journey to ensure that crop farming contributes 10% to the Gross Domestic Product by 2030, up from the current 4%.
President Samia stated that the program applies not only to young people who will be involved in block farms but also to young women who are already on farms. She stated that since the program was announced, over 20,000 young people have already applied to be included in the program, and there are also many young people already on farms. “I urge my young people, my children who have entered this program to go and work, the government is prepared for this, we will provide you with everything you need and put it into action, my children who are on the farms, go and engage in commercial farming,” she said. She stated that her intention is to see the project succeed, and nothing else. “I want to assure you that my intention is for this to happen, and we have started by increasing the agriculture budget, and we will continue at the same pace for the remaining years,” said President Samia.
She stated that the government will continue developing the extension services sector, has already provided equipment and machinery, and hired approximately 300 agricultural experts. “When I give Tanzania’s sweat money for use in agriculture and that money is misused, I will not tolerate it. I want to see every shilling put into the soil, every shilling put into the agriculture sector to yield two or three times more,” said President Samia. She ordered ministry leaders to fulfill their responsibilities while keeping in mind that they are implementing the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Manifesto, which the government has already started to implement.
President Samia also ordered the sectoral ministries to form a committee of ministers to ensure the program is fully implemented. “You will fail if you do not have the determination; I don’t see where you will fail if you are determined. And I don’t want to hear that we have failed, we must go and work, and we must succeed,” she said. Additionally, to improve extension services, President Samia stated that the government will continue to allocate a budget for new jobs in the agriculture sector in addition to the 300 experts who have already been employed.