The premier who was officially opening the Fourth Malabo Montpellier Forum at Kigali Marriott Hotel highlighted that one way of developing the continent would require increasing investment in agriculture as it considerably contributes to Africa’s economies, food security, agro-processing industries and exports among others.
Agriculture sector accounts for about 32% of the GDP in Africa.
He shared with participants, a number of initiatives implemented by Rwanda within the framework of digitizing its agriculture.
Among them he cited: National Information Communications Infrastructure (NICI) policy was elaborated and the Ministry of ICT and Innovation has been established to address national priorities related to digitalization to foster national economic growth and fast-track poverty reduction.
Currently, the Management Information System (MIS) allows the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources to get timely data from Districts.
Furthermore, an Agricultural market pricing information system e-Soko has been initiated. This digital platform provides market prices on agriculture products.
In collaboration with development partners, we a digital project with various mobile services was designed. This project aims at providing rural farmers agricultural information and knowledge to increase their income.
Premier Ngirente also mentioned some of the challenges that are still hampering the agriculture sector. including insufficient agriculture financing, low level of agricultural mechanization, limited agriculture professionalization, climate change and low capacities to meet standards and manage price volatility on international markets.
He called upon policy makers to de-risk the sector so as to attract more investments, and continue empowering youth to embrace agriculture as an attractive and competitive business, strengthen research and extension use of modern technologies and improve agricultural literacy for all involved in the sector.