Kagame meets with delegation of Volkswagen Group Executives

On 10 June 2023 at 10:28

President Paul Kagame has met with a delegation of Volkswagen Group Executives who are in Rwanda for the 5th anniversary of Volkswagen partnership with Rwanda, Rwanda’s Presidency has revealed.

Their meeting with Kagame on Friday 9th June, discussed ongoing projects as well as the recently signed MoU to establish the Gen-Farm project in Bugesera.

“The project will provide farmers with access to VW electric tractors as part of an effort to establish a holistic ecosystem of e-powered mechanised farming services,” the Presidency stated.

The GenFarm project aims to create a holistic ecosystem of e-powered mechanized farming services in Rwanda. One of its key components involves providing farmers with access to VW electric tractors, with the goal of promoting sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices. This initiative aligns with Rwanda’s commitment to carbon neutrality and reducing carbon emissions through climate action.

On the same day, the Government of Rwanda signed an MoU with Volkswagen to implement the GenFarm Project, which will establish a modern farm utilizing electric tractors.

The MoU, was signed by the Rwandan Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Ildephonse Musafiri, CEO of Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda, Serge Kamuhinda and Chairperson and Managing Director of Volkswagen, South Africa, Martina Biene, in the presence of Imelda Labbé, member of the Brand Board of Management of Volkswagen for Marketing, Sales and After Sales.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) made the announcement on Friday, highlighting the project’s objective of generating carbon-neutral business opportunities and fostering sustainable socio-economic development within the community. As part of the agreement, the Rwandan government will provide land in Gashora, Bugesera District, for the project, as well as assist with permitting and licensing requirements.

The GenFarm Project envisions a sustainable and inclusive business ecosystem that benefits rural areas in Africa. Through the partnership between Volkswagen Group Innovation and Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda, the pilot project in Rwanda seeks to provide reliable and environmentally friendly mechanized farming services. An interesting aspect of the initiative is that excess energy used to charge the electric tractors will be harnessed to power post-harvest handling and storage processes.

Rwanda’s commitment to mechanized technologies in agriculture is emphasized in the Ministry of Agriculture’s Annual Report for 2021-2022. The report highlights the importance of adapted mechanized technologies in enhancing farm yields, minimizing harvest and post-harvest losses, and optimizing resource utilization. Collaboration with various stakeholders has resulted in a 13.7 percent increase in mechanized land from over 62,200 hectares in 2020/2021 to 70,740 hectares in 2021/2022. The goal is to achieve 50 percent mechanized farm operations by 2023/2024, with the current figure standing at 36 percent.

By embracing electric tractors and promoting environmentally friendly farming practices, Rwanda aims to make a positive socio-economic and environmental impact on its communities. The GenFarm project represents a significant step towards achieving these goals and creating a greener and more prosperous future for Rwanda.