For the 10th time, AgriProFocus Rwanda organized the Agri-Finance & Market Linkages event. During this year, the Agri-finance fair took place in Kayonza district on 30-31 August, 2018.
There is information gap on financial services and market linkages opportunity in agriculture of Rwanda, AgriProFocus Rwanda organized this fair to improve agribusiness development by facilitating an easy access to financial services and business linkages between the key stakeholders of the Agri-food sector in Rwanda.
The two-days event brought together different farmers especially farmers from the Eastern Province of Rwanda, cooperatives, agribusiness companies, financial service providers and development partners organizations operating in Rwanda for better information sharing, dialogue and interaction and connections between different stakeholders to address various key issues in farmer entrepreneurship, including access to finance, access to market, and information on quality inputs and farm equipment.
On a playground ground located in the opposite of BK, Kayonza Branch, where the agri-finance fair held, among the presented participants there were the farmers, stimulating practical information & knowledge on access to finance & access to markets, in forms of exhibitions, dialogue and interactions.
This year, 32 exhibitors and over 500 farmers visited the Agri-Finance fair. The farmers’ feedback revealed that they become accustomed to agri-financial products and some of the farmers learnt from other as well as deal-making with the agribusiness companies and financial institutions that were presented in the agri-finance fair.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Mrs. Sajji Ryakunze, AgriProFocus Rwanda Coordinator, welcomed all the participants of the agrifinance fair. She mentioned the efforts made by co-organizers, exhibitors and explained how these agri-finance fairs (from 1st to 9th fair) become impactful for the stakeholders mostly the smallholder farmers of Rwanda. She thanked the co-organizers of the event especially Catholic Relief Services, Development Bank of Rwanda, World Vision Rwanda, Help a Child Rwanda, Kayonza district, and ICCO cooperation for their tremendous collaboration in sponsoring and co-organizing the fair and thanked all the farmers visitors interested in agribusiness. Mrs. Sajji ended her speech hoping that the deals and partnerships will be made during the fair will reap fruits for the prospective farmer entrepreneurs of Rwanda.
Mr. MUHAYIMANA Cyprien, Director in charge of Agriculture and Natural resources in Kayonza district, opened the fair whereby highlighting the importance of this agri-finance fair for the farmers of Kayonza district. “We highly thank AgriProFocus Rwanda and other partners’ organizations for jointly organizing this event as a platform for cooperation in improving access to finance and market connections. Dear all farmers, “this fair will give you space to learn a lot with regard to management of small funds and loans that you are given by different financial service providers” said the Director of Agriculture in Kayonza. The first day was closed by having a business drink (cocktail) to help people network and make deals one another.
On the agenda of the second day of agri-finance fair, there were exhibitions, but the most important activity was the section of discussions, where farmers were able to challenge financial institutions, agribusiness companies, and other presented partners involving in agriculture. During the discussions, the financial institutions that were present (BRD, KCB bank ltd, DUTERIMBERE IMF, Equity Bank Rwanda, BDF and Urwego opportunity Bank) took time of explaining about their agri- financial products. A female farmer, who grows vegetables in Rubavu district, explained to the participants how she collaborated with KCB bank and improves crop production on both quality and quantity through using the agri-loan from the bank. She encouraged other fellow farmers to keep working with financial institutions because you can’t do market oriented farming without working with banks. She continued thanking AgriProFocus for facilitating them at having face-to-face inquiries and discusses ways of making direct deals with financial institutions and agri-input providers.
In addition, on this second day, Mr. Fabien NGOGA, EUCORD project coordinator in Rwanda talked about agriculture production and marketing. He encouraged the farmers to focus on producing the products of good quality which attracts the clients. The exhibitors (farmers) also explained about the products and the farmers’ cooperatives showed their products whereby mentioning the role of development organizations like Help a Child Rwanda, Catholic Relief services in Rwanda, ICCO cooperation, and DUTERIMBERE NGO in conducting their farming projects.
During the closing ceremony, Mr. MUHAYIMANA Cyprien, Director of Agriculture and Natural resources mentioned the efforts made by AgriProFocus Rwanda and other co-organizers of fair, all the exhibitors, for the tremendous collaboration making the fair successful. Mr. Cyprien thanked all the participated farmers and encouraged them to keep working with financial institutions.
The fair was closed officially on Friday, August 30th-31st 2018 by Director of Agriculture and Natural resources, Kayonza district.
The full report will be shared soon!