By Krantz Mwantepele
In the recent past, there is a paradigm change in the way Tanzanian youth perceive employment. A few years ago, many of them had their eyes trained on formal employment after graduating from institutions of higher learning.
However, things have gradually changed with much more youth seeing great opportunities in self-employment.
This change has been accelerated by the fact that at the touch of the button, one could have so many things done – including, for instance, online marketing of farm produce, a pivotal area considering that agriculture is the mainstay of Tanzania’s economy.
According to Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority, more than 40 percent of Tanzanians are on broadband internet. This means that retailers, processors and farmers could easily be linked. Forums, training on modern practices, and choices of the products are limitless. Opportunities for reaching buyers from across the world are immense.
Also, the national agricultural policies although well-written, don’t make it beyond the shelves at the relevant ministry’s offices! This makes Tanzanians never to go beyond subsistence, availability of large swathes of arable land and large water bodies notwithstanding.
Another impediment to the growth of the Tanzanian agricultural sector is protectionism and land ownership policies. A recent case in mind is the government’s banning of exportation of cereals to neighboring Kenya and red tapes when importing quality animal and plant varieties.
As the founder and CEO of Koncept, a communications and PR company, and has won several entrepreneurial awards, I have realized that online marketing of produce through Facebook, blogs, WhatsApp is still in its nascent stages and needs a shot in the arm.
It is for this reason why my preoccupation for the past year was to establish a link between communications and marketing that form the backbone of my career, and the company I head, with agribusiness. Modern marketing of farm produce has been relegated to the back banner in Tanzania.
The marketing scenario the world over is changing pretty first and Tanzania is not an exception. Branding is becoming the mantra for the markets for such products as fruit and vegetables.
Previously, most consumers never really cared where, when or how the food found its way to their tables. Today, it matters a great deal – the value chain from the producer to the retailer.
It is for that reason that everyone in the chain ought to brand their products to give it a distinction, separating it from the rest – the identity they resonate with easily.
To achieve this, online business will undoubtedly be the catalyst for growth with the support from the relevant sectors, spearheaded by initiatives from the government, that is, political goodwill for as we know, sound political initiatives are the main drivers of social-economic development.
Armed with this knowledge, I believe that Tanzania would not only create employment to the youth but also spur its projected industrialization path and elevation of the country to a mid-level economy come 2025.