Israeli government and Rwanda signed a declaration of Intent for the establishment of the Center of Excellence for Horticultural Development in Rwanda.
The deal was inked on June the 11th, 2014 by Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr Agnes Kalibata and the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Liberman, who was on duty visit to Rwanda.
The Center of Excellence for Horticultural Development, to be developed in Kigali by MINAGRI and Israeli International Cooperation Agency, MASHAV, will serve as a training site for local agriculture extension officers, University students, farmers and business people in modern horticulture production.
The centre will offer training and will also serve as a regional centre of excellence in high technology production.
It will serve as a regional training center for small holder farmers focusing on major agricultural production challenges as well as on entrepreneurship capacity and better farm management skills.
The primary purpose of the center is to create a self sustaining center for agricultural production, training, and the demonstration of new and more efficient production methods, irrigation systems, post harvest handling and marketing of fresh products.
The selected site for this centre is Mulindi Agriculture Show ground located in Gasabo District, Kigali City which was used for an annual agriculture technology exhibition.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources wishes to make the agriculture show ground as a permanent demonstration center.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources sees this Declaration of Intent and the foundation stone to be laid at the future site of the centre as just the beginning of a long term cooperation and a good opportunity for exchange between two nations in the field of agriculture.
During the event, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr Kalibata expressed her ministry’s gratitude for the visit and noted that Rwandans will learn a lot from Israeli well-established expertise in agriculture development.
“We have a lot to learn from Israel and have currently 128 Rwandan students on internship program in Agro-Studies Center and hope to get the student placement growing to 300,” she pointed out, noting that the students acquire skills, come back and are attached to private companies in different agricultural fields.
Through this cooperation, a number of officials have been trained in modern technology developed by Israeli experts.
Since last year Israel has trained 30 Rwandan young professionals in advanced production technologies in horticulture where they are attached to commercial farms and learn everyday life of commercial farmers.
These trainees got the required practical skills and are currently contributing to the development of horticulture in the country by advising farmers and have started thinking about setting up horticulture production business units.
This year Rwanda has sent about 130 trainees in Israel and almost the same number is expected to be sent for the same training next year.
During these trainings, young Rwandans are given hands on experience in horticulture production, post harvest handling and marketing of fresh produce.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal resources sees this as the continuation of a long lasting and fruitful cooperation between the two nations that have much more in common and common interest to share.