Rwanda: Agriculture Ministry Partners JICA to boost vegetable value chain

The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda has signed an agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to cushion the effect of the novel COVID-19 pandemic on vegetable farmers.

The agreement worth $950,000 and signed on Tuesday, October 6, would ensure the provision of quality vegetable seeds.

Since the first reported case of the pandemic in Rwanda, vegetable farmers have struggled to obtain quality seeds for cultivation.

The new partnership comes as a relief to these farmers, as it is also set to transform the agronomy of the country after the pandemic slowed activities in the sector. understands that the seeds would be distributed and cultivated on approximately 2,100 hectares across the country in 18 districts identified by the government.

The districts reported to be beneficiaries include Nyabihu, Rubavu, Rutsiro, Rusizi, Nyamasheke, Bugesera, Gatsibo Kayonza, Nyagatare, Rwamagana, Kamonyi, Muhanga, Huye, Nyanza, Musanze, Gicumbi, Burera and Rulindo.

Vegetables that are subject to price volatility and are the most purchased in rural and urban markets would also be targeted.

Farmers in the following value chains would be supported with seeds; French beans, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cabbages, green peppers, eggplants and amaranths.

Speaking on the development, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry revealed that the vegetable value chain was one of the worst-hit by the COVID-19 scourge due to the vulnerable nature of the crops.

The seeds support, he added, would strengthen the resolve of vegetable farmers to produce more amid the pandemic.

Chief Representative of JICA, Marou Shin, said that the project would increase the income of farmers and bolster nutrition for Rwandans.

“We are not simply only providing seeds under this project, but also through this project, we would like to encourage the ordinary farmers to continuously use quality seeds,” he said.

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