Sokoine University of Agriculture in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as funding partner recently completed the first phase of training on horticulture as agribusinesses to youths in Dodoma. The training was conducted at Bihawana Farmers Training Centre (BFTC) in Dodoma City from 15th to 18th September 2020. It was coordinated by the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) whereas SUA experts in horticulture, entrepreneurship and agribusiness provided the training. Participants of the training came from three districts of Dodoma Region namely Chamwino, Bahi and Kongwa; and were 31 in total constituting about 40% female and 60%.
Plate 1: Participants of the training on horticultural crops propagation as agribusiness showing certificates of participation while posing for a group photo with the guest of honor Prof. Dismas Mwaseba (Centre in blue suit), Director, Institute of Continuing Education, ICE, SUA
Plate 2: One the short course participants on horticultural crop propagation as agribusiness receiving certificate of participation during internal closing ceremony of the training.
The training offered is an operationalization of Sokoine University of agriculture (SUA) and Food Organization of the United Nations (FAO) collaborative agreement, which was signed in March 2020 to train 200 youths on horticulture and poultry as agribusinesses. Whereas SUA provides technical expertise in training the youth, FAO play the role as a funding partner. The training project constitutes horticulture, and poultry as core technical components, and entrepreneurship and agri-business as cross-cutting key components. The project aims at imparting knowledge, skills and information to enable youths acquire hands on skills for creating jobs for themselves and for others. Therefore, the project contributes in addressing issue of youth un-employment. It is expected that the short courses will contribute not only to increasing youth employment in agriculture and agri-business value chains but also contribute to enhancing food security, economic development in the country. The training is consistent with SUA efforts geared to reaching majority of communities in Tanzania through outreach activities.
Objective of the first phase was to train 30 youths in hands-on practical agri-business skills and knowledge on horticulture along value chains leading to self-employment and agri-business enterprise development.
2. TRAINING APPROACH
The training was carried out using a combination of methodologies including practical, theory and study visits. Practical and theory sessions were conducted at Bihawana Farmers Training Centre and Nanenane fruit trees farm, Dodoma and study visit was conducted at Chapa Kazi horticultural enterprise at Kikuyu in Dodoma City. Overall, the training was practical in nature for providing hands on skills for self-employment of the selected youths. It constituted about 80% practical sessions and 20% theory.
3. TOPICS COVERED
Topics covered in the theory session of the horticultural training included the following:
- Introduction to horticultural plant propagation
- Nursery site selection
- Growth media, media composition and pot filling
- Rootstock seed sowing and management
- Scion selection criteria
- Grafting and budding techniques
- Cultural management of budded/grafted seedlings
- Nursery Pests and their management
- Record keeping
- Marketing and transportation of grafted/budded seedlings
Topics covered in practical session were as follows:
- Plant propagation by seeds
- Plant propagation by grafting and budding
- Management of nursery plants
- Record keeping
Entrepreneurship and agribusiness topics included the following:
- Dream building and mind-set change
- Business plan development for poultry and horticultural enterprises
- Profitability and marketing of poultry and horticultural products
- Ways of accessing land, capital and equipment
- Records and accounting of poultry business operations
- Decision making in poultry sector (broiler, layers, hatchery, feed mixing etc.)
- Compliance issues with business regulatory authorities
- Producing for targert buyer, product quality, volumes, supply and relationship building in business
- Business contracts (Types of contracts, evaluation of contract, advantages and disadvantages of contracts)
- Business financing (Credit for production inputs, credit management, saving and credit groups).
4. ACTUAL TRAINING EVENTS IN PHOTOS
Plate 3: Participants of the short course on horticultural plant propagation following attentively classroom sessions
Plate 4: Trainees of horticultural plant propagation undertaking practical activities on grafting and budding
5. TRAINEES STUDY VISITS
Plate 5: Participants of the short course on horticultural plant propagation and management visiting Chapa Kazi, one of horticultural business at Kikuyu, Dodoma City
Plate 6: Participants during study visit at Nanenane fruit farm in Dodoma City for practical on types of mango varieties, selection of scions for grafting and bud woods for budding
Plate 7: One of the short course trainees showing scion during study visit at Nanenane fruit farm in Dodoma City for practical on types of mango varieties, selection of good quality scions for grafting, and bud woods for budding
Horticultural training on crop propagation as agribusiness to youths in Dodoma was a success in terms of enthusiasm demonstrated by youths during the training sessions. The practical oriented approach is appropriate for imparting knowledge and skills to youths. This approach is inclusive in the sense that few youths who had not acquired a formal education benefited from the training. For enhancing the impact of future trainings, it is recommended that SUA and FAO should continue targeting participants who are motivated by acquiring knowledge and skills not those who entirely expect financial benefits.
Sokoine University of Agriculture through the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) would like to recognize the generous financial support from FAO in conducting the first phase training on horticultural crop propagation as agribusiness to youths in Dodoma. Thanks are due to youth trainees for their active participation throughout the training period. We would like to have a mention about Bihawana Farmers Training Centre (BFTC) staff, in particular, Ms Cecilia Kiondo (then Head of the Centre, now retired); Mr. William Lukindo and Mr. Emmanuel Mtenga, the current Assistant Head and Head of the Centre, respectively. An outstanding cooperation we received from them during preparations and actual implementation of the short course is very much appreciated. Sincere gratitude goes to instructors of the training namely, Dr. Emmanuel Mgembe (an expert in horticulture), and Mr. Lubango Mayenga (an expert in Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship). Lastly, but not least, the ICE would like to acknowledge the SUA University Management for engaging with FAO leading to collaboration between these two organizations in offering the short course.
For more information about this article please write to Dr. Innocent H. Babili at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0789345122