The first ever agricultural caravan ended yesterday on a high note, participants calling for everyone’s renewed efforts to transform the agriculture sector from subsistence to commercially oriented farming.
In her closing remarks, AgriProFocus Rwanda country coordinator, Madam Sajji Ryakunze commended the resolutions that the up to 150 youth participating at the caravan made following the field visits at successful farmers’ farms.
“There’s no doubt this was a good platform to plot the way forward for the Rwanda young farmers. You all witnessed the good strides others are making in the agriculture besides learning the challenges facing small-scale farmers and ways in which these can be overcome,” Ms. Ryakunze said.
YNKURIJE Dorcas, Help a Child Rwanda beneficiary is a farmer from the Rusizi district and was one of the farmers who attended the youth caravan. After visiting the Sunripe farms Rwanda in Bugesera district, she wanted to share her experience.
“I remember when they invited me to the caravan, I said to myself, ‘There is no way I’m going to that three day-long gathering.’ Believe me, I don’t like those kinds of things,” names said. “But, after thinking for a little while, I decided – well, I guess I can go, and if I don’t like what I hear, I can always catch up on the lost time.”
Ms Dorcas explained, “But after what I’ve witnessed at those farms, I liked hearing that my own farm produce would double if I followed the double row planting method I saw at Sunripe farm and used proper techniques and inputs.”
“Thank you so much for making it possible for me to attend the caravan and learn from on-job people,” an agricultural student at the University of Rwanda said. “Now I know that it was for the benefit of me because I’ve met people that are putting in practice what I learn in class,” the rejoicing student added.
In an experience sharing session, Regis Umugiraneza from RYAF and Arcade Nshimiyimana from YEAN enlightened the participants on the existing opportunities that they can take up if the join other youth farmers under the two platforms.
They however, warned that challenges still lie ahead and extraordinary measures including hard work and mindset shift will have to be applied, to overcome the challenges, which in the end turn out to be good lessons for the future.
AgriProFocus Rwanda partners such as Rwanda Youth In Agribusiness Forum (RYAF), HortINVEST, PASP IFAD funded Project, USAID Feed the Future Hinga Weze, Help a Child Rwanda, Rural Development Initiative, and YEAN Rwanda expressed their pleasure for having contributed to a significant and meaningful youth in agribusiness caravan. Those who spoke on behalf of others stressed the need to bring ideas and resources together in order to create a critical mass of change agents in Rwanda’s continued efforts to transform the agriculture sector from subsistence to commercially oriented farming.
A big thank to all the coorganizers, sponsors, youth participants of the 2018 Youth in Agribusiness Caravan. Together we can make agribusiness work for development.!!!!
Closing of the 2018 Youth in Agribusiness Caravan was super and fan!!