The agriculture sector in Rwanda has a significant role in the country’s economy as the industry contributes 30% of the GDP, contributes to economic growth, high exports, job creation, increased land and labour productivity.
According to the results of 2021 season ASAS, shows that the country’s total land area used for agriculture was at an estimation of 2.377 million hectares and out of that total, 1.1 million hectares of the land was used for seasonal crops.
About 0.6 million hectares are considered to be an area under permanent crops and 0.13 million hectares are under permanent pasture
The agriculture industry in Rwanda is still developing in most aspects including the seed production system and product marketing system.
An agriculture expert said the national goal is to shift the agriculture sector from the current predominantly subsistence characteristic to a market based sector, hence why the seed system and product market are one of the critical factors still developing for sustainability to support sector transformation into being a private led one as envisioned in the country’s Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation 4 (PSTA 4).
It is said that the AGRA approach in Rwanda is based on investing technical and financial resources in order to create a functional and competent seed system in the country and to also extend services with the aim to encourage farmer awareness on use of improved seeds.
AGRA is a farmer based, African led partnership driven organisation founded in 2006 that is working towards transforming small holder farming into a full on business that blossoms with success.
The organisation aims to modernize the agriculture sector on the African continent by significantly making it market driven and a data based industry which will be a crucial step in the development of African countries.
With relevance to the agricultural inputs, the outcome shows that 37.1% of farmers used improved seeds, 67% of farmers applied organic fertiliser in their fields, 40.9% used inorganic fertilizer and 22.4% applied pesticides.
A surveyed stated that 9.2% of farmers practiced irrigation, 91% practised anti erosion activities and the use of mechanical equipment was estimated at 0.9% utilisation on farms whilst 38.4% practiced agroforestry.
AGRA is focused on catalysing the economic growth, wealth creation, hunger reduction, and nutrition through agriculture transformation.
The institutions goals complement very well with the Strategic Development Goals, African agenda 2063 and also align with Rwanda’s priorities to transform the agriculture sector as mentioned in PSTA4.