The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is set to invest up to $100m (Sh250bn) in supporting the Tanzanian government’s Building a Better Youth and Women Initiative for Agribusiness (BBT – YIA) which aims to enroll youth in agribusiness in the country.
The fund which is expected in the next 3-4 years is expected to boost programmes and projects of BBT that are anticipated to up economic opportunities of the younger population in the East African nation.
According to Craig Hart, USAID country director, the support will open economic opportunities along the agricultural value chains for the youth.
“We are glad to work together with the Tanzanian government towards improving the livelihoods of the youth who are involved in agriculture,” said Hart yesterday at Iringa Rigional Commissioner’s office where officials from USAID and US embassy were inspecting some health projects.
He further stated that the money will be channeled towards addressing key issues affecting the agriculture sector such as policy, food safety and storage among others.
BBT initiative which was started to provide land and financing is a government response towards the issues that has been affecting the youth.
In this, the government select the youth who are given up to 10 acres of land each and helped to access loans under the government guarantee scheme and loan facility for the young people.
The Tanzanian government had discovered that the low contribution of the sector to national GDP is partly contributed with low engagement of youth in the agricultural sector who account about 56% of the active labour force in the country.
In fact, BBT-YIA is a tool for contributing the attainment of the Agenda 10/30 that envisage to increasing the youth employment by 1.5 million and obtaining the growth rate of the agricultural sector by ten (10) percent by 2030.
The estimated cost for implementing various activities for the entire program life span is Tanzania Shillings 356.199 billion (equivalent to USD 148,416,167).
It is estimated that 24% of the budget will come from the Government and 76% from development partners, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the private sector.
In Tanzania, Youth accounts for 56% of the active labor force, although most of them are unemployed, underemployed, or working in precarious conditions, according to 2022 – 2030 Youth Initiative For Agribusiness report by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Other areas of support to the youth that BBT-YIA seeks to address include access to technology and hands-on skills in its application and access to markets and business auxiliary services including; appropriate logistics facilities, packaging materials and market information.