AEE Rwanda to support youth involved in horticulture

On 5 June 2023 at 12:59

African Evangelical Enterprise (AEE Rwanda) through a project to develop horticulture implemented in collaboration with Tearfund, on funding of the European Union (EU) have launched a program aimed at fostering the development of youth involved in horticulture.

The program was launched on June 1, 2023, to provide support to 18 youth projects in four districts of intervention namely; Gasabo, Rwamagana, Kayonza, and Bugesera.

The program aims to assist individuals with promising ideas by bringing their concepts to life and connecting them with partners in different sectors to facilitate implementation.

Among the 19 young people selected for the incubation program, 18 ideas will be supported over a three-month period. Thirteen of the participants are male while six are female.

Simeon Uwiringiye, the Horticulture Project Manager at AEE Rwanda, stated that the youth will receive knowledge and guidance to expand their ideas, establish connections with partners, and enhance their project execution skills.

Furthermore, this project aims to connect farmers with local and international markets in Rwanda, addressing issues across the entire value chain. The selected young entrepreneurs have proposed innovative solutions to address challenges in the horticulture sector.

Pastor Muremangingo René, the Director of Finance and Administration at AEE Rwanda, expressed the significance of this initiative in providing valuable agricultural knowledge to the youth.

He emphasized that the strength and ideas of these young people have the potential to revolutionize processes and enhance productivity for overall development.

"In our program, no idea will be wasted. We carefully selected the best ideas out of 44 submissions, resulting in 18 selected projects from the aforementioned districts," stated Muremangingo .

The selected projects include initiatives focused on agricultural technology, irrigation, agro-input production (such as fertilizers and pesticides), climate change response, value addition of vegetables and fruits, and income generation.

"We expect these ideas to be developed into successful projects to be implemented before August 2023. We will collaborate with financial institutions to secure funding for their implementation," added Muremangingo.

Murekatete Jolie, project manager at Tearfund, expressed gratitude to all partners involved and encouraged their continued collaboration to support these young entrepreneurs in realizing their dreams.

Jean Bosco Irimaso from Kayonza District, the founder of Maaso Company engaged in chili processing, expressed his desire to expand his ideas and establish a large-scale factory in the Eastern Province, equipped with advanced technology.

"We urge the government to continue supporting the youth in acquiring land for agricultural projects that can transform our farms and enable farmers to achieve their desired prosperity," he further stated.

Benie Ange Iradukunda, a colleague of Irimaso, grows French beans in Bugesera District. He aims to implement mulching techniques using grass and specially designed polyethylene bags, along with greenhouse cultivation, to mitigate the impact of climate change-induced droughts.

Iradukunda hopes to gain substantial knowledge and financial capacity during the incubation period, enabling him to benefit personally and train others.

Cynthia, a volunteer from Gasabo District, has embarked on the production of original and promising insecticides. She expressed her anticipation of benefiting from the project’s promise to connect participants with different partners. She also aspires to acquire the necessary knowledge to obtain a license, expand her business, and establish a large company.

Daniel Harerimana, an employee of the Business Development Fund (BDF), highlighted the numerous programs aimed at developing youth in agriculture through various projects.

He assured that well-executed projects would have the opportunity to receive funding. A representative from Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) also praised the project for its support of youth and pledged RYAF’s assistance.

Mukamugema Alice, a Crop Products Supply Chain and Market analyst at MINAGRI, acknowledged the challenges faced in horticulture farming and emphasized the need for close attention by the youth. She stated, "When it comes to vegetables and fruits, foreign markets are our target. However, many growers fail to meet the required standards, and this issue affects the youth as well. Understanding and implementing these standards remain a challenge. This project, along with our various partners, will continue to focus on addressing this."

Mukamugema highlighted the Ministry’s commitment to supporting the youth in overcoming the obstacles hindering vegetable and fruit cultivation.

She reassured that the ministry is ready to provide assistance and work alongside the youth in finding markets through the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB).

Beneficiaries with representatives form concerned organizations in a group photo.