Following a comprehensive agricultural strategy for crop diversification, Rwanda envisions becoming a hub for high-quality crops in the region by 2030. The plan seeks to empower farmers, increase yields, and enhance food security.
This ambitious vision aims to boost the agricultural sector, with a focus on improving crop yields for staple foods and cash crops. The government, in collaboration with agricultural experts, is determined to ensure that Rwanda transitions into a thriving center for high-value crops.
Innocent Ntamuhoranye, the head of the Association of Crop Traders and Exporters in Rwanda, highlights the importance of this initiative. “Our goal is to find ways to boost crop production, given the promising domestic and international markets we can tap into. We need to ensure steady growth of the agricultural sector in Rwanda.”
The plan includes the engagement of experts in the agricultural sector to address challenges such as disease control, crop quality, and increased crop yields. Prominent experts like John Muvara, leader of the Rwanda International Spices Company (RISCO), emphasize the need to tackle various challenges hindering crop quality and productivity.
“The challenges we often face include pests and diseases, which impact the quality and yield of our crops. Addressing these issues would significantly improve our knowledge of crop management. The support we receive will help us gain a deeper understanding of crop cultivation,” said John Muvara.
Dr. Patrick Karangwa, the Director-General of Crop Development and Agricultural Mechanization at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, emphasized the importance of the government’s role in achieving the plan’s goals. “As seen in the first phase of our National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), we aimed for at least 75% of farmers to use quality seeds. However, we will continue to work to surpass this goal. The idea is to encourage the widespread use of high-value crops, ensuring that all farmers have access to quality crops and expanding market opportunities,” said Dr. Karangwa.
Recent statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture show that a significant percentage of smallholder farmers use quality seeds, with 85.7% utilizing them, while hybrid seed adoption stands at 35.9%. The overall adoption of quality seeds in Rwanda’s agriculture is at 37.1%, and the government is committed to enhancing these numbers as it advances toward its 2030 vision.