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First national workshop to transform Rwanda’s agricultural seed sector

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Télesphore Ndabanenye, Seeds Officer at RAB and Leslie Marbury, USAID’s Acting Mission Director

Kigali: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, launched the first national workshop to transform Rwanda’s agricultural seed sector. The event was held at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

The one-day workshop was devoted to identifying steps needed to increase the production and use of improved, commercially-developed seeds for Irish potatoes, maize, and common beans in Rwanda. By using improved seeds, farmers realize economic benefits because improved seeds are high yielding, often resistant to drought or disease, and more adapted to the local growing conditions.

The national workshop follows the publication of a USAID-funded study on the barriers and opportunities for Rwanda’s growing seed sector. That study found that just 10 percent of the crops grown across the country are high-producing varieties. Yet demand for Irish potato seeds, for example, is currently estimated to be three times the country’s supply.

Planting improved and commercially developed seeds in Rwanda will lead to food security, higher incomes for agricultural workers, and better nutrition for Rwanda’s most vulnerable households.

Members from all corners of Rwanda’s seed sector collaborated at the one-day workshop; including regulatory institutions, seed companies, farmer cooperatives, and non-governmental organizations. The attendees concluded the event by creating a roadmap of step-by-step actions to develop Rwanda’s seed sector.

Speaking at the event, USAID’s Acting Mission Director Leslie Marbury addressed the crowd, thanking the participants for their collective work and reaffirming the United States Government’s commitment to the agricultural development of Rwanda.

“Through our Feed the Future program, USAID will continue to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources to help small scale farmers access affordable and high quality seeds, fertilizers and other agricultural inputs,” she said. (End)

 

 

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