AMSHA Institute of Rural Entrepreneurship
AMSHA Institute of Rural Entrepreneurship is a farmers organisation based in Lindi, with geographical focus in Dar-es-salaam, Pwani, Lindi and Mtwara , and it was incorporated in Tanzania as company limited by guarantee on 11th day of May 2012 and issued a certificate of incorporation number 90868. “AMSHA” is a Swahili word, which means “awaken” in English.
The main focus of AMSHA is on sustainable rural development through community mobilization and mindset change campaign while imparting entrepreneurial philosophy and agribusiness skills to rural population.
The objectives are broadly categorized into six main groups as follows:
- To promote agricultural entrepreneurship
- To conducting Research, lobbying and advocacy.
- To ensure youths and women participate in agribusiness.
- To build cooperation, interaction, partnership with various stakeholders in agribusiness.
- To develop Agro-finance program to access credit facility
- Agribusiness Services center
- Muhogo Mbegu bingwa project
- Ecosystem conservation
- Food and livelihood security
- Farm profitability and other institutional benefits
- Ensuring Youth participate in Agribusiness
AMSHA and her members managed to establish four Amsha agribusiness services centers, with the objective of promoting and bringing closer the agribusiness activities to the farmers by locating those centers near to their villages, where one center serve up to five wards.
Amsha and her strategic partner MEDA (Supported by Bills and Melinda Gates foundation) have managed to establish six Cassava multiplication site in Lindi and Mtwara managed by AMSHA members.
The Amsha agribusiness model has the potential of transforming subsistence agriculture into commercial farming with ecosystem conservation objective because of the introduction of new technologies from research institutes and other sources. Every season, atleast 2000 acres (800 hectares) of land have been prepared for sesame.
In order to ensure sustainability between human development and nature, ensuring ecosystem conservation is vital. This is because Coast and south eastern of Tanzania are forested land and people are haphazardly cutting trees for charcoal making and shifting cultivation under slash-and-burn farm system. Therefore, through AMSHA training and capacity building these malpractices are likely to be brought to an end. However, this will only be possible under the support of integrated planning and land use management committee of respective areas, which among other things should assist AMSHA to establish proper land use plans in all AMSHA affiliated villages.
Also it is the policy of AMSHA to promote organic farming which not only will attract international demand of crops from AMSHA farmers but also it will conserve the ecosystem. 5.
Food and livelihood security is guaranteed because AMSHA stresses that every member, especially rural farmers, must have both subsistence farm plot of not less than one acre (0.4 ha) where he/she grows food crops (maize, sorghum and cassava) and at least five acres (2 ha) of mixed crops managed under intensive agronomic practices supported by AMSHA. It is also the AMSHA policy that farmers are exposed to various agribusiness and trade activities during both crop and off-crop seasons to ensure that they have adequate cash income to support their livelihood. This is made possible through awareness and technical trainings to AMSHA members.
There is high expectation for making tremendous profit from farm enterprises because currently AMSHA is in the process of signing contract with large grain processing industries in East Africa on contract basis. Also AMSHA attracted large companies like WABANTU COMPANY & MICROPHAS INVESTMENT COMPNAY to buy the produces from AMSHA‟s farmers, especially the buying of sesame and sorghum.
AMSHA and other stakeholders managed to establish the Tanzania Youth in Agribusiness Forum (TYIAF),which is a youth-led platform was launched in Morogoro on 11th May 2013, with a motto of “Kilimo Biashara ndiyo mpango mzima” i.e. “Agribusiness is the real deal”.
Since the launch of TYIAF in May 2013, the Tanzania Youth in Agribusiness Forum has reached out to more than 470 (where 40% were women) direct youth and agriculture stakeholders. It is evident that, the young agri-entrepreneurs especially in Morogoro, Manyara, Lindi and Mtwara region like RABIKA POULTRY FARM, JUWAWA, Fresh from shamba Limited to name a few have recognized the comparative advantage of investing in agribusiness given the availability of adequate natural resources; a supportive climatic and policy environment together with favourable public sector initiatives and importance of youth to organize themselves in groups in order to tap into existing opportunities.
The Youth Roadshows have also supported 10 youth (where 6 of them were women) led agribusinesses to access export markets and finance from financial institutions by offering them with training and coaching on Export readiness and also on Bankable business plan development. Whereas, the youth had to present their business ideas before fellow youth and business experts during the roadshows and the audience feedback was used to improve the development of their businesses and business ideas as well as two youth (one in Lindi and other in Mtwara) have managed to establish their own Cassava Seed Multiplication site supported by AMSHA and MEDA under MMB project (Financed by Bills and Melinda gates foundation) .Moreover, it was an opportunity for other youth to become further exposed to and motivated by practical examples of youth in agribusiness.