The Success Story of the Youth Council of MKONGE Tea Co-operative LTD


Written by Ibrahimu Mwankanye, Cooperative advisor Tanzania

The youth council of the primary cooperative of tea farmers of MKONGE Tea AMCOS LTD in Tanzania was established in 2021, after receiving the Youth Leadership training from Agriterra which included youth councils of other primary cooperatives. The youth council received a blessing from the Mkonge Tea board members and was officially approved during the annual general meeting in 2021.

The youth council has a total of 13 members, of which 6 are female and 7 are male. It is made up of 6 board members, of which 4 are male and 2 are female.

The capital structure of the youth council is built with:
  • 5 shares per member with a value of 5000tzs per share.
  • An investment of 1000tzs by each member, per month
  • Contribution of 1000tzs per member, per month to help each other with social activities.

Tree nursery

Thanks to the available capital, the youth council decided to start a project setting up a tree nursery and selling tree seedlings to various farmers and also distributing seedlings to its members. Each member with 1 acre of land available for planting trees, would be eligible for receiving these seedlings. In 2022 a total of 15,000 seedlings were prepared of which 10,000 were sold for 100tzs each and 5000 seedlings were distributed to members.
This year (2024) the tree nursery is to prepare a total of 20,000 seedlings that are expected to sell next year (2025).

 Members of the youth council during the preparation of the tree nursery
Seedlings are ready to be sold to various farmers
Due to the success of the MKONGE Tea youth council, the government of Tanzania operating through the MUFINDI District Council, approved a loan for 15,000,000tzs without interest, to be paid off within one year.
The loan was issued in January 2023. The required payments on this loan started as of March 2023, so the youth council received a grace period of 3 months.
After the youth council received this loan, they bought 2 tea harvesting machines and the remaining money was added to the working capital to help members with various problems by lending them money at a low interest rate.
Those 2 teas harvesting machines are rented out for harvesting tea at MKONGE tea farm. The council is paid 100tzs for each kg of picked tea and, on average, 3000kgs of green tea leaves are picked each day.
Members of the youth council while picking green tea leaves at MKONGE tea farm
The harvesting income of the youth council and the loan repayments from members was used to pay off the loan debt.
The youth council members are expected to achieve their dreams, such as the following:
  • Increase the number of members from 13 to 30.
  • Establishment of non-financial institutions as agents of NMB Bank or CRDB Bank
  • Increase of capital in a revolving fund for providing special loans to youth in the village at a lower rate of interest.

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