The Local Investment Climate (LIC) project addresses critical constraints to business development and economic growth at district level in the two regions of Dodoma and Kigoma in Tanzania. The project invests in Public-Private Dialogue (PPD), business service facilities like One-Stop-Business Centres as well as in public, private and Public-Private-Partnership infrastructures in support of business development. 

The Kibakwe Agriculture Resource Centre under the Ministry of Agriculture is located in Kibakwe, Mpwapwa District Council. The Center was established to provide agricultural knowledge - both theoretically and practically - to the communities within Kibakwe Ward. In December 2015, LIC was approached by Mpwapwa District Council tosupport finalisation of  the construction of a hostel at the Center and equip it with necessary educational tools. In support of this investment LIC project proposed the establishment of new management structure through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which includes contracting a private operator for managing centre activities.

Apart for the completion of the hostel, the LIC support –– included drilling of a water well, purchase and installation of a drip irrigation system, establishment of a nursery for production of  vegetable seeds and improved fruits seedlings, purchase of ICT equipment, installation of internet services, procurement of key agricultural machines and tools for the centre, and last but not least, support to the development of tailor-made training programs for  farmers including young farmers.

Project Highlights and Achievements

The infrastructure and training program improvements at the centre has enabled Mpwapwa District Council to offer better training to both farmers and youths. One case is 30 Ujuzi (Skills) Voucher Youths, a program being run in collaboration with the Loan Board and Visele - a private Agriculture and Livestock Institute in Mpwapwa- have undertaken practical training at the centre. Also seven vegetable farmers around the centre and six extension officers have got their horticulture knowledge upgraded to a level enabling them to attend further training at the horticultural training center SEVIA in Moshi.

Since the completion of the LIC support in March 2018, the centre has hosted a total of 170 farmers and youth including 60 youth undergoing a 6 month intensive horticultural education program. The next phase of the support program will look into ways of supporting the youth to get started as commercial producers of horticultural products including possible support to viable investments in processing.

The LIC support has included focus on attaining financial self-reliance of the centre through the SPV management structure. Income from hostel and workshop utilization together with sales of farm produce have substantially reduced the need for financial support from District Council. It has proven the viability of establishing such training centers through collaborative effort between the District authority and the private sector. This particular centre is focusing on the horticultural sector, but the model applied here can certainly be applied to other value chains in need of cost-effective education and training facilities and opportunities.

LIC has invested around TZS 194 million in the Improvement of Kibakwe Agriculture Resource Center.