Rwanda is preparing to host a continental forum that seeks to transform African agriculture through innovation.
The Global Forum for Innovation in Agriculture (GFIA) 2016 edition will take place in Kigali in June and is expected to attract around 10,000 participants.
Organisers say they have chosen to contact Rwanda due to significant transformation the country has registered, agriculture in particular.
“We are often approached with requests to host events. For this particular one, we had been approached during preparations for the one in Durban, South Africa,” Tony Nsanganira the Agriculture Minister told KT Press.
The GFIA series of events offer a much needed platform for interactions between diverse actors committed to spearheading an innovation driven transformation of Africa’s agriculture.
Partnerships for agricultural transformation are strengthened and new ones initiated during networking events such as GFIA.
Organisers of GFIA say science, technology, innovation and technology transfer will be key elements for unlocking the productive potential of Africa.
According to Africa Agenda-2063; “Africa hosts 60% of global arable land but the continent only contributes 10% of global agricultural output”.
Rwanda, the sector employs 70% of the labor force and accounts for a third of the country’s national GDP. The sector meets 90% of the national food needs and generates more than 50% of the country’s export revenues, with plans to increase growth to 8.5% per annum.
To achieve this, the country requires getting access to the most advanced technological innovations available in the world.
With several ambitious reforms in agriculture, Minister Nsanganira told GFIA forum in Durban on Wednesday that Rwanda is significantly upgrading its agriculture research capacity especially; human resources and infrastructure, of which the country could offer valuable experiences to participants of the forthcoming forum.
Nsanganira invited investors to promote use of latest technological innovations in plant disease management and seed systems in Rwanda, such as using biotechnology for production of market responsive seed systems, new plant varieties and environmentally friendly disease control products.