China pledges support to Rwandan farmers

China pledges support to Rwandan farmers

The Chinese delegation with Rwanda’s Agriculture Minister Agnes Kalibata posing for a photo shoot

China has pledged to support Rwandan farmers by introducing quick technological techniques that will increase productivity, in a bid to strengthen cooperation in agriculture between the two countries.

The initiative will see introduction of varieties that have very high yielding potential coming from China to Rwanda and simple technology that Chinese people would transfer to Rwandan farmers in a bid to increase productivity.

The delegation was headed by Yang Yi, the president of Foreign Economic Cooperation Center, Ministry of Agriculture in China.

Yi expressed his country’s will to keep strengthening cooperation with Rwanda in agriculture sector. He said: “I think we will take these points into consideration for the future sustainable development.”

As part of the mission, Yi noted that they visited Rwanda Agriculture Technology Demonstration Centre (RATDC), a Chinese body based in Huye district.

The center has been training Rwandan farmers in mushroom and rice production, soil conservation and sericulture.

 RATDC is a body that has in its mandate to train farmers in mushroom growing, was about to stop its activities according to the contract it has in Rwanda.

 In this regard, a Chinese delegation had a pre-meeting with RAB officials on April 21st, 2014, to discuss on the prolongation of that mandate.

Both Rwandan and Chinese officials noted that they have been very impressed with the effect of the center, though they all agreed that a lot of work still needs to be done in terms of increasing productivity and technology transfer.

The Rwandan government, in its 2005 National Nutrition Policy, along with international development agencies, proposed a multi-pronged approach to eradicate malnutrition.

Since then, the Ministry of Agriculture has called on Rwandan farmers to take on commercial mushroom growing as one of crops against malnutrition.

The center would be the starting point to strengthen the cooperation in agriculture between the two countries.

Since 2006, China has helped to set up 15 agricultural demonstration centers in Rwanda.

Chinese enterprises have also worked to improve local farmland, water conservancy and conditions for agricultural production.

Currently, the biggest agricultural project in Rwanda is a farmland improvement project supported by investment from the African Development Bank and contracted to Chinese enterprises intended to control major rivers and improve the utilization of water resources in Rwanda.

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