RWANDA –  The Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources has teamed up with foreign development partners to launch a 4-year program aimed at boosting productivity in fisheries and horticulture sectors.

Dubbed the “KWIHAZA” initiative, the project is being implemented in partnership with the European Union, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev), and the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel).

Through the program, smallholder farmers in the aquaculture, fisheries, and horticulture sectors will be trained in good agricultural practices.

New research centres will also be established to drive innovation that will improve yield and promote the country’s transition to a sustainable food system.

It is my privilege and great honour to officiate the launch of the KWIHAZA PROJECT which I believe will leave a transformative impact in the development of Rwanda’s aquaculture, fishery and horticulture sectors for the next four years,” Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr Ildephonse Musafiri, said.

In Rwanda, small-scale aquaculture, fishery and horticulture industries are difficult and often unprofitable for small farmers and ranchers, making the project a timely initiative.

Themistocles Munyangeyo, a fish farmer and investor, argued that the project should prioritise the farmers’ lack of access to quality and economical feed to cut down on fish imports.

“The expensive fish feed increases the cost of production, ultimately resulting in a costly product, which makes us local producers unable to be competitive with the imported fish which is cheap because of the relatively low production cost,” Munyangenyo stated.

The initiative’s secondary goals are to raise farmers’ incomes and increase the demand for locally grown, healthful food while at the same time cutting on post-harvest losses.

“Aligned to the GoR priorities, “KWIHAZA” will contribute to creating decent jobs and more sustainable food systems,” H.E. Belén Calvo Uyarra, EU Ambassador to Rwanda, stated

The Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), the National Agriculture Exports Board (NAEB), and the Rwanda Inspectorate will work together in the implementation of the project.

Other state agents that are participating in the program include the Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (RICA), the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB), the University of Rwanda (UR) – Rwasave Research Center, and the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA)

European Union and LuxDev are supporting the initiative with the financial backing of US$10.9 million and US$5.9 million respectively.

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