Youth Vegetable Business Hub Project graduates another crop of fresh talent
The WorldVeg Best Practice Hub (BPH) in Madiira Farm, Tanzania trained a new group of farmers to take on the challenges of finding and meeting local market demand for fresh produce.
On 14 August 2018, 26 young famers from Tuamke Vijana Nganana in Tanzania had cause to celebrate: They had completed an intensive six-month training course in vegetable production at the WorldVeg Best Practice Hub (BPH) in Madiira Farm, Tanzania, and, armed with skills and knowledge, were ready to take on the challenges of finding and meeting local market demand for fresh produce.
The World Vegetable Center and Catholic Relief Service (CRS) have been offering training for young farmers in the Arusha region to undertake safe and profitable vegetable farming through the Youth Vegetable Business Hub (YVBH) Project. WorldVeg Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Director Dr. Thomas Dubois, YVBH Project Manager Dr. Justus Ochieng, and Mrs. Grace Solomon from the Meru District Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Cooperatives Office (DAICO) presented certificates to the eager graduates.
The YVBH project combines education, group governance through saving and internal lending communities (SILC), and collective marketing of vegetables to generate income for young vegetable producers. Training topics include vegetable production practices, identifying viable market opportunities, increasing value and minimizing wastes, and how to select the right partners and relationships in production and marketing.
In just two months, the group was able to raise about USD 1000 through their SILC to help each other through times of tight credit. They developed links with input providers and found output markets for fresh produce and seed production through careful analysis of market needs. They learned the importance of good recordkeeping, and also connected with Equity Bank, a local financial institution.
With such a strong foundation, these young farmers are certain to have fruitful and productive careers in growing vegetables for profit.
Story and photos: Henry Mvungi, Hassan Mndiga and Justus Ochieng
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