Rwanda is organizing a week-long series of Agriculture promotional events to enable entrepreneurs and innovators showcase technologies that may provide solutions to the sector.
The events scheduled for June 13-20, will be held at Mulindi Showground in Gasabo District in the outskirts of Kigali city.
“We want to showcase our agriculture technology and information sharing to the world. We hope that business opportunities will emerge from the events,” Tonny Nsanganira, State Minister in Ministry of Agriculture told KT Press.
Nsanganira said his ministry has recently registered several innovations that could help farmers solve several challenges the sector has been facing.
Agriculture employs over 70% of the country’s labour force and accounts for a third of the GDP. However, the country wants to improve productivity of the sector through new technologies.
From June 13-16, the general assembly of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and Africa Science Week will be held.
During the same week, the International Learning event on farmer-to-farmer extension is also planned to be held from 14th to 16th June and will attract 350 professionals in agriculture extension from around the world.
The 11th Kigali Agricultural Show is also scheduled for June 13-20 under the theme “Invest in Agricultural Innovations for Prosperity”.
Minister Nsanganira told KT Press that there are several local technological innovations that need funding. All these will be showcased at the expo.
He mentioned one by Rosine Mwiseneza recent winner of Ms Geek competition that will be showcased at the expo. She designed system with censors that automatically switch on and off an irrigation facility without farmers having to manually operate it.
In other innovations, Herve Rutagengwa Gabiro, the founder of Medima Software Company created Inka Tracking. It is a software that can be installed in a mobile phone, and report all the information about livestock in a farm.
“We shall request veterinary doctors to tag livestock, and then we shall connect the tagging to our system in a way that will allow us to collect all the information on cattle and small livestock,” he told KT Press.
An ID number or a parcel number on the land title (UPI) of a farmer will also be connected to Inka-Track system.
One will just need to put an ID or UPI in the system to access all the data on cattle in the farm, “information on artificial insemination, disease, breeding and others will be tracked,” said Gabiro.
The software will also provide a regular update on exact figures of cows and other livestock.
“Stealing a cow won’t be possible anymore because our system will allow the user to know that this cow passing by belongs to a farmer from a different neighborhood,” said Gabiro.
Gabiro is trying the system on 800 cows in Gishwati, Western province, and it is successful but he is yet to find investors to help roll it out. Farmers will use the software free of charge.
“These innovations are lacking investors to turn them into profitable ventures,” Nsanganira told KT Press.
“We hope that individual investors and countries that will attend the events will buy our technology.”
Similarly under FARA Rwanda has prepared “Rwanda Day”- It is a day participants will dedicate to visit several agricultural and touristic destinations.
“Some will take the North, others will head to South and other places; it will be an opportunity to showcase good agricultural practices, culture and natural beauty of our country,” said Nsanganira.
The agricultural week will bring together farmers, agriculture research institutes and investors who are interested in agriculture sectors.