Tanzanian government to draft 52,000 JKT members into BBT scheme

President Samia Suluhu Hassan inspects a guard of honour mounted by members of the National Service (JKT) during a commemoration to mark the 60th anniversary of JKT at Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma yesterday. PHOTO | STATE HOUSE

What you need to know:

  • The BBT seeks to promote Tanzanian youth’s engagement in agribusiness for sustainable and improved livelihoods

Dar es Salaam. The government is targeting new recruits for the National Service in advancing its new agricultural development initiative as it seeks to create thousands of new jobs through people who have been well baked in patriotism.

Officiating at an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Service (JKT), President Samia Suluhu Hassan said the government will pick all the 52,000 youth who had applied to join JKT this year.

Upon completion, they will be deployed to foster agricultural development in line with the government’s Building a Better Tomorrow (BBT) initiative.

“The government has several plans and it is still working on several others but what is known as for now is the BBT. Upon completion of their training, these [the 52,000] will be deployed to agriculture and the blue economy,” she said.

The BBT seeks to promote Tanzanian youth’s engagement in agribusiness for sustainable and improved livelihoods.

The government decided to establish the scheme as a response to the challenge of a lack of access to land and agricultural financing for youth.

Until January, 2023, which was just six months since the initiative was adopted, the 'Building a Better Tomorrow' programme had secured a total of 600, 000 hectares and land clearance is ongoing.

As a part of the BBT, the government selects youth are allocated up to 10 acres each, which they will end up owning.

Under the programme, the government has established a Youth Guarantee scheme and Loan Facility for youth under the Agricultural Input Trust Fund.

The BBT is one of the initiatives that are meant to propel the annual growth of the agricultural sector to 10 percent by 2030 compared to the current growth of around 3.6 percent.

And, President Hassan noted yesterday that the government wants the BBT plan to be directly connected with Suma JKT so that youth should know where to after completing their parade.

According to her, Tanzania’s 3rd Five-Year National Development Plan - which runs from financial year 2021/22 to 2025/26 – puts emphasis on progress skills, youth empowerment and creating jobs.

"The aim of the plan is to reduce dependency thus and that is why the government focuses on increasing the capacity of Suma JKT so that it implements its responsibilities accordingly,” the President said.

She also directed the Ministry of Defence and National Service to collaborate with JKT to prepare a strategic plan to renovate the required camps that were damaged in order to accommodate a big number of youth who want to join the National Service.

She further directed JKT to access loans so that it can continue to produce on a large scale...If Suma JKT needs surety to access the loan, the government is ready to help, as long as it pays and accesses the loan.

She noted that it has been 60 years since the existence of JKT, the army has been respectively responsible to create the foundation for the youth to serve their country willingly in various ways.

Defence minister Innocent Bashungwa said that the ministry will continue to collaborate with various sectors, to implement the President's directives and ensure that there was enough food in the country.

He noted that the ministry will continue to identify talents from youth so that they be able employed.

The Chief of Defens Forces, General Jacob Mkunda, said that by collaborating with its parent ministry, the army will continue with the use of technological equipment in line with current advancements.

Despite a challenge of a lack of enough campsites and the dilapidated state of some of them, they will continue enroll an increased number of youth who have requested to join the JKT.

“We will continue to provide training to youth so that can be empowered and be self- employed,” he said.