UNILAK students engaged in the agriculture transformation journey

The Youth in Agro-ecology and Business Learning Track in Africa (YALTA) and its partners in Rwanda’s agriculture sector have organized discussions on engaging youth in agro-ecology farming in order to take the lead in the country’s agriculture transformation journey.

The discussions were held in Rwamagana District from 1st to 2nd April, 2021 under the event dubbed “Youth and Agro-ecology National Caravan 2021 with a theme of “Promoting agro-ecology and unlocking the business opportunities for youth in Rwanda.”

Participants in the discussions were warmly welcomed by Dr. Semana Javan, the UNILAK campus coordinator who reminded them that they cannot promote rural development without promoting agriculture.

“You are most welcome in these discussions; which are of great importance for you as students in rural development and all of us here. What I can tell you is that you cannot promote rural development while letting behind the agriculture. I know most of the youth take agriculture as a profession for illiterate people, but this is not true as the Rwanda’ economy depends on agriculture which employs around 80% of the total population,” said Dr. Javan.

He urged participants to venture into agriculture as the sector has huge potential for business opportunities with high returns for themselves and rest of the population.

This event saw different presentations among them a presentation on Youth and employment whereby the presenter, Mr Innocent Ndikumana, a lecturer at the University of Lay Adventists of Kigali pointed out some opportunities available in the areas of agri-preneurship, urban agriculture and vegetable farming.

The district of Rwamagana through its representative in the event appreciated YALTA initiative.

“We thank you for your initiative, we thank you for choosing our district to host the Rwanda Youth Caravan 2021 in the Eastern Province and we promise you our full support in promoting youth in agro-ecology farming. Don’t hesitate to contact us any kind of help,” said Dr. Niyitanga , the director of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Rwamagana District.

The Youth and Agroecology National Caravan 2021 aims at enabling young agripreneurs to gain practical knowledge, skills, approaches, through peer-to-peer exchanges and learning from youth-led agribusiness enterprises, exposure field visits to youth-led and successful farms/firms within and beyond their own horizons.

It targets young innovators, marketers, youth leaders who are already passionate and motivated about their businesses and are ready to be change-makers in developing sustainable and scalable agroecological business modes.

This caravan was organized by YALTA Rwanda in collaboration with MINAGRI, RYAF, AGRITERRA, Help Child Rwanda, University of Rwanda, UNILAK, and Three Mountain, ROAM, YEAN Rwanda, and others.