HE Dr. Gharib Bilal, the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, gave his Government’s official blessing to Balton Tanzania’s ‘Farming is Cool’ initiative aimed  at encouraging youth to take a closer look at modern agribusiness through the company’s new holistic approach to small scale farming, when he launched the campaign at the Tanzania-Israel Business & Investment Forum 2014, held on the 17th – 20 March 2014 at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) in Dar es Salaam.

Dr. Bilal the vice president of Tanzania

Most of Tanzania’s youth are currently uninterested in Agriculture, which is the backbone of the country’s economy, accounting for more than half of the GDP.  Many of these youth who come from farming families, which have not been able to turn their land into successful agribusiness ventures due to lack of available modern technologies, knowledge and experience, have shunned agriculture as something to be done by the old and retired or by those struggling to survive.  Understanding that the growth and stability of the economy and the country rest squarely on the shoulders of Tanzania’s youth, who are the leaders of tomorrow, Balton Tanzania, the leading agricultural ‘one stop shop’ in the country, launched the ‘Farming is Cool’ initiative as part of the company’s 50 year celebrations, in order to show youth that agribusiness done right can be profitable and is not the same labor intensive activity as in the past.  “The goal of this important initiative is to show Tanzanian youth, who continue to struggle to find jobs, that there are opportunities they can tap into in the agricultural sector that can help them to be self-reliant and enterprising” said Itzik Lev, Managing Director of Balton Tanzania at the launch adding that “Modern agribusiness allows farmers and especially entrepreneurial young people, to practice agriculture as a proper business and to make a good living from the land”. 

Launch of the campaign

The ‘Farming is Cool’ initiative aims to address the substance of agribusiness while doing away with the negative perceptions attached to it and proving that it is a ‘cool’ and respectable business.  Welcoming the new concept to Tanzania, Dr. Bilal thanked Balton for the wonderful initiative that would put Tanzanian youth in the frontline of the country’s development.  “Tanzania has almost 44 million hectares of land 29 million hectares of which can be utilized for irrigation farming.  We hope the youth will use the resources and modern inputs being made available to take advantage of this opportunity.” said the Vice President.

This article was written by: Linda Byaba