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Youth and women in agribusiness

The problem

In Tanzania, the agriculture sector employs 65% of the population, but of the eight million households engaged in agriculture, 85% are subsistence farmers or small-scale producers. Due to vulnerability to extreme weather conditions, a lack of access to newer technologies and limited access to finance, around two fifths of crops are lost each year, valued at over 200 million USD.

Despite making up 60% of the total labour force in the agricultural sector, women’s roles are often limited and they lack access and control over land and productive resources, in part due to cultural issues, which have been informed by strong traditional gender roles.

Tanzania’s youth make up over half of the country’s population, but many are unemployed, largely due to having limited employment opportunities in rural areas and lack of access to finance and productive assets.

When subsistence and smallholder farmers are able to increase their productivity and quality, reduce on-farm and post-harvest losses and access reliable markets, employment opportunities open up, especially for the youth, who have the potential to make significant contributions to economic development, investment growth rates and reducing poverty rates. 

What are we doing?

This project aims to sustainably increase the incomes of 60,000 smallholder farmers in the Dodoma and Singida regions of Tanzania by 2025, of whom half are women and over 28,000 are youth. Farm Africa will achieve this by facilitating actions to increase food productivity, reduce post-harvest losses and building a well-functioning market system, focusing on the sunflower, sorghum and horticulture value chains.

Farmers, with a focus on women and youth, will be given access to improved agricultural production techniques and seed varieties, as well as improved access to climate technologies that will affect their crops. Improved post-harvest techniques and value-addition will be promoted, which will also help create job opportunities for women and young people.

Young people will be offered training in financial literacy and entrepreneurial, leadership and management skills. Farm Africa will also help women and young people apply for grants and loans from financial institutions to grow their businesses.

This project will enhance gender equality and youth participation in decision making related to agricultural production, giving women and youth more control and empowerment.

Who are we working with?

The project is funded by Mastercard Foundation through the World Food Programme.

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