The real heroes of Tanzania’s agriculture sector – women and youth – were front and center at the red carpet premiere of the film Kumekucha TUNU, held this past April in Dar es Salaam. The film is part of a comprehensive media campaign, including a 52-week radio show series. The campaign is funded by Feed the Future as part of USAID Tanzania’s cornerstone five-year strategy aimed at sustainably increasing food security and nutrition by expanding economic opportunities – particularly for women and youth – in the agriculture sector. The film is being screened in various locations across Tanzania, on television stations and can be viewed in full online starting on July 1, 2017.
“Our goal is to see a profitable and productive agricultural system here in Tanzania so that the entire nation can develop and have a higher nutrition and more economic opportunity,” said Harold Carey, Feed the Future and Land Tenure Lead for USAID Tanzania at the launch of the film at the Cinema Complex, Quality Center in Dar es Salaam. “As we watch Kumekucha tonight, we are looking at an evolving context of agriculture in Tanzania and how you have to think of agriculture in new ways and take advantages of the new opportunities which are emerging here in Tanzania,” he added.
Attended by over 200 people from across Tanzania’s agriculture sector and film industry, the launch event featured a press briefing and red carpet where both the film’s actors and everyday farmers were celebrated as heroes.
Eugene Kavishe, one of the young farmers in attendance at the film premier was excited to witness the celebration of Tanzania’s agriculture sector. A resident of Morogoro, Eugene is a young entrepreneur and poultry farmer currently rearing over 8,000 chicken. He supplies chicken feed to other farmers in Morogoro and says there are many opportunities for young people in agriculture.
Also sharing the spotlight on the red carpet was Maria Mabere Paulo, an agro dealer and Village Based Agriculture Advisor who shared her joy at being invited to celebrate the woman’s place in Tanzania’s agriculture sector. Speaking during the premiere, Maria urged men to support their wives in agriculture to help reduce food insecurity in Tanzania. “I advise the youth and my fellow women to embrace agribusiness. I am a witness to the profitable opportunities available in agribusiness here in Tanzania. Personally I have made huge strides through my agro-dealership. I can’t wait to watch the film and learn even more about the Tanzanian farmer,” she added.
Women & youth in Tanzanian agriculture.
With fertile soils and an inspired and educated group of young people, Tanzanian youth positioned to feed the region and agriculture can provide numerous jobs to the country’s young people. And while today’s youth are the future of Tanzania’s food security, for a number of reasons just like the main character Mashoto in the film Kumekucha TUNU young Tanzanians are increasingly abandoning the village in search of opportunity in the cities.
Agriculture in Tanzania employs over 75 percent of Tanzania’s population with a labor force largely provided by women and youth. While women are central to Tanzania’s food security, they are least involved in household decision-making and have little say in how the fruits of their labor are spent. Young people represent nearly a third of the agriculture labor force, and yet their jobs are often temporary, informal and vulnerable to seasonal contracts without benefits. The film hopes that through the various characters and themes some of these issues can be brought to the fore to encourage conversation and a pathway to providing solutions for them.
About the Film
The film explores the story of Mashoto, a young man working as a daladala (minibus) conductor in town when he hears of his mother’s death. Back home for the funeral, the grief of losing his mother pushes him to the edge. He believes the land is cursed and wants nothing to do with it. His father, Sanga has lost faith in him. Soon he finds himself working for the unscrupulous middleman, Kidevu. It’s an uphill battle for Mashoto as he struggles to find purpose in the village. But when the beautiful and independent young woman, Lightness, catches his eye, she pulls the veil back and Mashoto is able to see how fruitful the land can be.
The film is part of the larger Kumekucha media campaign, including a 52-week radio series and two complementary films and prepared by Africa Lead in conjunction with Media For Development International (MFDI). Funded by the USAID the Kumekucha radio series and films are produced by MFDI which previously produced the TV series, Siri ya Mtungi.
Learn more about the radio series and the film on the campaign’s website: www.kumekucha.co.tz