These women were selected for their role in sensitizing farmers to use best practices in ther agricultural activities.
As per report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, farmer promoters and cooperative leaders play an important role in ensuring that best practices in agriculture are adhered to, hence enhancing productivity.
On average, a farmer promoter assists around 4,000 farmers. With these new smart phones, the beneficiaries will be able to easily access agriculture information and disseminate it to the farmers in their respective catchment areas.
Speaking at the handover event, Paula Ingabire; the Minister of ICT and Innovation said: “Agriculture being the backbone of Rwanda’s economy, women are great contributors to the growth of this sector especially in rural areas. In order to reach more development, women in agriculture should be placed at the centre of this transformation. Constituting more than 60% of the Rwandan agricultural work force, it is imperative that technology should not leave them behind in order for Rwanda to achieve great advancement in ensuring food quality and food security. We thank all our partners in this initiative.”
Prof. Jeannette Bayisenge; the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion also welcomed the partnership between the Government of Rwanda and MTN through which female farmer promoters are given smart phones.
“These smartphones will help them to remain at the forefront in their agricultural activities and contribute to their families’ welfare,” she said.
Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana; the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources highlighted that females heading farming cooperatives need to access information to facilitate their work.
“Now that they are equipped with the smartphones, they will be able to access and share information easily. This will help them to improve their agricultural activities,” she noted.
Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi; the Minister of Local Government thanked the President of The Republic for always striving for inclusive development noting that the smartphones should help beneficiaries to attain sustainable development.
Mitwa Ng’ambi, MTN Rwanda CEO expressed optimism that donated smartphones will drive beneficiaries into the digital world.
“We are glad to continue the Connect Rwanda initiative in partnership with the Ministry of ICT & Innovation, this time specifically focused on women farmers with the aim to empower them and their businesses, as we drive digital for a brighter Rwanda. As we wind down Women’s Month, we continue to recognise the importance women play in our economy and we are confident that these efforts to drive smartphone and internet penetration will make a difference,” he said.
Connect Rwanda Initiative was launched by MTN in partnership with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation in December 2019, with the objective of providing smartphones to unconnected households countrywide to leverage the digital economy.
The essence of the initiative is for private companies, government institutions and individuals to come together and drive the digital agenda to connect all Rwandans.