The fifth Population and Housing Census highlighted that a significant 53.4% of Rwandans depend on agriculture. Aligning with the Vision 2050, Rwanda aims to transition 70% of its population away from agricultural practices and toward modern methodologies. To realize this transition, the Imbuto Foundation has taken proactive measures by organizing events like the ’Imali Agribusiness Challenge’. This initiative fosters the empowerment of young individuals, encouraging them to embrace modern agricultural practices.
A prime example of such initiatives is the "Imali Agribusiness Challenge", organized by the Imbuto Foundation in collaboration with Friends of Imbuto and the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI). The competition showcased innovative projects with the potential to revolutionize the agricultural landscape in Rwanda.
Drones to revolutionize agriculture
Among the promising projects that caught attention is the "Rwanda Drone Innovation," spearheaded by Patient Dukeshimana, Elysee Karemera, and Florence Ishimirwe Inkesha through their venture, Agrinet Rwanda Ltd.
This project focuses on employing drones for agricultural applications, including the precision application of fertilizers and pesticides. Moreover, these drones are meant to offer real-time crop monitoring, facilitating the early detection of potential crop diseases and enabling informed decision-making.
Dukeshimana emphasizes that the adoption of drone technology not only reduces manual labor costs but also significantly decreases the time required to cover extensive fields. These advancements hold great promise in contributing to increased agricultural productivity.
Transforming waste into fertilizer
Chantal Kamashazi, with her project under "Mind Valley Rwanda Ltd," is addressing the issue of fertilizer scarcity in the Kayonza District. Her project involves the production of compost from cow dung, which is abundant in the Eastern Province due to a large number of cows.
Kamashazi with a Master’s degree in Agriculture from Korea, has mobilized local communities and created employment opportunities while addressing a critical agricultural need.
In Bugesera, another group is actively tackling fertilizer scarcity. Aline Nayituriki, Sylvestre Karorero, Bonheur Nshuti, and Patrick Rugamba, through their joint venture known as "Agri-ThinkTank," have established a company focused on producing compost from garbage.
Their innovative approach, tested in the Rweru area of Bugesera District, has demonstrated remarkable results. Farmers utilizing their manure, named ’Ongera Compost,’ witnessed a 30% increase in their agricultural yields.
To bridge the fertilizer supply gap, Rwanda is ambitiously working towards establishing the Rwanda Fertilizer Company Ltd in Bugesera, a collaborative endeavor involving the Agaciro Development Fund, APTC investor, and OCP Africa, a Moroccan company.
Mushroom farming and pineapple wine production
Gildas Kwitonda, through his company G-Proud Company Ltd, is taking a unique route into agriculture with his "Iby’iwacu Project," focusing on mushroom cultivation. Based in Kigali City’s Bumbogo area, Kwitonda crafts mushroom substrates using crop residues and nutrient-rich components, generating up to 2000 substrates daily.
In Kamonyi District, a project by Marie Faustine Niyomubyeyi, Steven Munyantwaza Cyiza, and Sabine, operating under Vynes Ltd, is bringing forth Made in Rwanda wine made from pineapples.
This initiative not only aims to bolster pineapple farming in the region but also endeavors to reduce the reliance on imported wines while adding value to locally grown pineapples.
Innovative ingredients for culinary delights
"Volcano Green Invest Ltd," established by Aime Rukundo, Kevin Ndayisaba, Belyse Uwineza, and Jeannette Kwizera, is making its mark by processing tree tomatoes and vegetables into a unique ingredient named "Tamarilo Jam."
This versatile ingredient finds its application in bread-making and culinary preparations, providing a cost-effective option with an exceptional taste profile and nutritional benefits. The production hub for this ingredient is located in Musanze District.