DAR ES SALAAM– George Reuben Sanga feels a thrill of pleasure as he walks around his 120 square meters green house at Makongo Juu in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
Sanga’s farming area covering half a hectare is greenish throughout the year, come sun, come rain as he engages in demonstration for irrigation farming, fisheries and poultry.
“Agriculture is wealth. If one wants to make money one should invest in agriculture because every human being needs food.
“Unlike running a clothing shop where your customers are limited,” 35-year-old Sanga told Xinhua this week.
Sanga said he was trained as a civil engineer at technician level and got employment in a construction company.
But he quitted and in 2015 started his farming project called Waloma Investment with a slogan: Agriculture and Livestock Keeping Towards an Industrialized Nation.
“I decided to practice farming after I had underwent training on irrigation farming and fish farming in Dodoma region when I realized that agriculture is indeed the right answer to unemployment facing most youth in the country,” he said.
The young farmer, who also grows chili in his four-hectare demonstration farm and another four-hectare pawpaw farm in Mkuranga district in coast region with one of his trainee farmers, said he shares his farming knowledge with the youth who visit his farm from different parts of the country.
“I train them on how to plant various crops. I train them on the use of high quality seeds. I train them on good seasons for planting various crops, including tomatoes,” said Sanga.
He added: “Apart from training the youth, people who have retired from employment in private and public companies and people who have interest in agriculture visit my place to learn the ABC of farming, fish farming and poultry.”
He said among the beneficiaries of his project are students from the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro region and students from a number of other agricultural colleges in the country.
“They come here with little knowledge about agriculture, but at the end of the day they go back home or to the colleges fully equipped with skills in farming activities,” said Sanga, a father of two children.
Seven years of his project has seen him training over 20 young farmers who right now have their own farms.
“I have also employed 10 youth farmers in my project and I have been visited by over 2,000 guests, mostly those who are keen to learn about farming, fisheries and livestock keeping,” he said.
The farmer said he sells his produce to his community and to some schools and supermarkets in the business capital.
But like any other businesses, Sanga said he faced a number of challenges, including rising prices of farm inputs and climate change that is hugely impacting on agriculture.
That aside, Sanga has one message to his fellow youth: “Since I started engaging in agriculture my welfare has improved tremendously. And if one wants to succeed in life as a youth one will get it on the farm.” – Xinhua