On Friday, September 15th, 2023, at Imanzi Business Institute in Kigali, Rwanda, the East African Business Council (EABC), in partnership with Sequa GmbH under the Business Scouts Fund, conducted the National Capacity Building Workshops on Contract Farming in Agri-Value Chains. This marks the continuous effort of the private sector to enhance the capacity of Agri-value chain actors in addressing the challenges associated with food security in the region.
Agriculture is a major economic sector for the people of Rwanda, employing approximately 70% of the total population. The industry contributes about 31% to GDP and stands out as one of the most strategic sectors in Rwanda’s development. About 61% of Rwandan soil is suitable for agriculture, and approximately 75% of Rwanda’s agricultural production comes from smallholder farmers who are affected by information asymmetry in the markets, making it challenging for them to effectively market their yields.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Juvenal Musine, Program Manager at IMBARAGA Farmers Association, highlighted that contract farming is a key factor in enhancing Agri-value chains for Rwandan farmers. He urged Agri-actors to secure farming and supply contracts before cultivation to effectively market their yields. He also encouraged Agri-actors to farm through cooperatives to have a collective voice in price negotiations and knowledge sharing to enhance their productivity.
Mr. Robert Rukundo, CEO of the Horticulture Exporters Association, expressed his gratitude to the East African Business Council (EABC) and its partners for organizing the workshop. He urged all stakeholders to utilize the knowledge gained to build a resilient economy by enhancing investment in agricultural value chains. Finally, he encouraged the private sector to continue their efforts to enhance the capacity of Agri-actors, especially in areas of post-harvest losses and smart agriculture.
On behalf of Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, CEO of the East African Business Council (EABC), Mr. Gift Gabriel, EABC Trade Information Officer, expressed his appreciation to the attendees of the national workshop on contract farming in the agri-value chain. This workshop was locally organized by IMBARAGA Farmers Association and Horticulture Exporters Association. Additionally, he extended his gratitude to the German Development Cooperation (GiZ) through SEQUA for their invaluable support in implementing the project titled ‘Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Agri-Food Industry and Mitigating the Impact of Global Crises to Improve Food Security in the EAC Region.
The workshop convened more than 30 Agri-Value chain stakeholders who received training on the principles, processes, and best practices of Contract Farming.