MKONGO YOUTH AGRICULTURAL CAMP
In 2012, RUBADA established Mkongo Youth Agricultural Camp (MYAC) in Rufiji District. The camp has a total area of 262 acres. It has capacity of accommodating 200 trainees at a time.
The goal of the camp is to improve production and productivity in the agriculture sector by involving youth through providing practical training to them. The intended youth are from Rufiji District and all over Tanzania including graduates. It is anticipated that the training programmes that will be conducted will be of practical nature, with youth after graduating be linked to land that will be identified in the basin. The approach will be to train as Training of Trainers (ToT) with expectation that each graduates will train other 5 youth in their respective villages.
In 2013, about 50 youth from Rufiji District were trained in the camp for a short period. Either, the Authority provided an opportunity to 15 youth to stay in the camp while conducting agricultural activities. The 15 youths were provided with greenhouse, irrigation infrastructure (drip irrigation) and a piece of land of 5 acres to each youth where most of them planted sesame and vegetables.
Since the camp was established, there had been little achievements as little financial disbursement was experienced from the government. To overcome this, and foster the potential stakeholder partnership, RUBADA and Sokoine Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to operate Mkongo Agricultural youth camp. This partnership is rooted from the comparative advantage these entities poses, from the fact that while RUBADA has already put in place some of the infrastructure at the camp, and with mandate of facilitating land availability; SUGECO has accumulated experiences in entrepreneurial training skills to youth and graduates. These are significant features that envision Mkongo youth camp to become a model for Youth training Incubator in the country. The collaboration also incorporates Rufiji District Council. RUBADA in collaboration with SUGECO prepared a joint project proposal which was submitted to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), who showed intent to support the project effective from May, 2016