Africa Agriculture Cooperation Farming Research Rwanda

Rwanda tapping Israel expertise to improve agri-businesses

Rwandan Agriculture students are scheduled to conduct their internships in Israel to acquaint themselves deeply with skills and best practices from a highly developed Israeli agriculture sector.

Israel Ambassador Ron Adams on Tuesday took a guided tour at the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA) and held discussions with the top managers on site.

“We are excited about the prospective of collaborating in Ag research and connecting student interns with Israelis Research Institutes and agri-businesses,” the institute said upon the hosting the Israeli envoy.

Agriculture in Israel is a highly developed industry. In 2019 agriculture represented 2.3% of total GDP. In 2020, Agriculture fetched 3831.30 ILS Million in the second quarter of 2020 from 3236.30 ILS Million in the first quarter of 2020.

Farmworkers make up only 3.7% of the work force, Israel produces 95% of its own food requirements, supplementing this with imports of grain, oilseeds, meat, coffee, cocoa and sugar.

For Rwanda, which has almost 72% of the working population employed in agriculture, the country is looking for solutions that may make agriculture more lucrative and attractive to the youth.

Also read: Rwanda: US$38M project seeks to tackle Kigali’s slums

Rwanda exports dry beans, potatoes, maize, rice, cassava flour, maize flour, poultry and live animals within Eastern Africa and beyond- however; the sector is still lagging in introduction and wide adoption of modern farming practices. Israel may offer a solution in this aspect.

Israel is a leader in agricultural research and development, influenced, in part, by its variation variable climatic, topographical and soil conditions throughout its regions. The compact size of Israel means Rwanda students on exchange programs could experience this variety via day trips, traversing deserts and lush landscapes alike.

Israel produces roughly 70% of all its food requirements and has significant exports in fruit, vegetables and flowers/ornamentals, many of which are grown year-round in greenhouses to meet counter-season demands.

Israel argues that today’s farmers need to adapt to this process by making the required transition from being simple producers to becoming managers of an agricultural enterprise, armed with the latest technologies and know-how, as well as an understanding of the market.

Agricultural diversification, coupled with intensive Research and Development and effective up-to-date extension services for rural farms, will prevent the transformation of additional farming lands for non-agricultural use and keep farmers and rural professions in business.

As technology and intensive agricultural methods change the conditions of agricultural production, farmers need to explore other alternatives in order to remain in the rural areas.

Taking into account current trends, Israel says is ready to share its rich experience in agribusiness for the enhancement of rural development.

Israel Ambassador Ron Adams on Tuesday took a guided tour at the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA) and held discussions with the top managers on site.

In January 2017, Rwanda and Israel committed to strengthening bilateral cooperation in boosting Rwanda’s agriculture sector.

This cooperation has been evidenced through important agricultural projects including professional internship programme that has been enabling Rwandan young graduates to pursue agricultural courses in Israel since 2012, among other projects.

Meanwhile, Israel and Rwanda have set up a Center of Excellence for Horticultural Development in Rwanda. This aims at 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.

Original article on Taarifa Rwanda

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