Samia block farm scheme to draw youth

Agriculture minister Hussein Bashe tills the land with a tractor when he toured part of the 11,453 acres of land set aside for block farming by youth in Chamwimno District, Dodoma Region.  PHOTO | EDWIN MJWAHUZI

What you need to know:

  • Agriculture minister has launched the largest block farm in Dodoma, saying the project is meant to generate more youth employment

Dodoma. In a move to tap the unexploited potential of the country’s agriculture sector, the Ministry of Agriculture has launched the largest block farm in Dodoma, saying the project is meant to generate more employment for youth.

Launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Hussein Bashe, the 11,453 acres located in the villages of Mlazo and Ndogoe in Chamwino District, in Dodoma, is meant to serve as block farming model, and will simultaneously benefit youth farmers and villagers in the two villages that donated the land.

“In Dodoma, we have three block farming initiatives for Tanzania youth so this is the first one. The second is in Bahi district whereby at least 3,560 acres of land has been set aside for wheat farming and the third project is in Chamwino district which covers 8,000 acres,” he explained.

He said President Samia Suluhu Hassan has promised to officially launch the Mlazo and Ndogoe block farm project after its completion later in March, 2023.

According to Mr Bashe, the land has a general title deed. However, each young farmer will be allocated appropriate land area for cultivation with a sublease title of not less than 33 to 66 years which grant them to access credit and improve productivity, and achieve food security.

“The youth will also be provided with a range of technical services including training, inputs and extension services which will be provided through a service delivery model as part of the block farming system.

The minister responsible for agriculture directed Dodoma Water and Sanitation Authority (Duwasa) to conduct water surveys and the National Irrigation Commission (NIRC), will be responsible to design and install modern irrigation systems so that agriculture activities will be conducted throughout the year.

On the o the hand, Mr Bashe directed Dr Semistatus Mashimbo, Chamwino District Executive Director (DED), to make sure the council’s land department is on the site to help designing a special area for the construction of housing for the Youth, who will be participate in the project.

“We also want to make sure a special area to cater for animal grazing and water is constructed, so Mr DED you will help us, this will help to eliminate conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers.

“President Samia is committed to transforming the sector, he wants more youth into the sector. She wants them as drivers to be part and parcel of the country’s economy. So, this project will therefore answer the challenges of unemployment or underemployment of the youth in the country and create opportunities for them to realise their potential,” he said.

Commenting on the project, Mr Harun Makamba, Village Chairperson for Ndogoe, said: “We are happy that the project will provide new opportunities for our youth in agriculture, and its value chain is envisaged to contribute to sustainable economic growth.”

“We were and still committed to the project as it aims to bridge the economic and social gaps, create employment opportunities, and uplift the living standards of our communities. As through the project, we are going to have infrastructures such as roads and electricity which are part of economic growth,” he said.

The block farming model is a structure used to manage supply chains in an inclusive and sustainable way, with a block farm as the focal point of production. In the case of Dodoma as pilot project, the government intends to put various complementary measures in place to ensure processing facilities have a consistent supply of raw agricultural products.