The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) agreed with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) to support the Economic Recovery Plan of theGovernment of Rwanda, through the provision of quality vegetable seeds worth US$950,000 to Rwandan farmers as a response to the COVID-19 impact on vegetable production.
The support is part of JICA’s contribution to homegrown solutions promoted by the Rwandan government and will target vegetable value chains that are subject to price volatility and are the most purchased in rural and urban markets. Vegetables targeted include French beans, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cabbages, green peppers, eggplants, and amaranths. Quality Seeds of these vegetables will be distributed and cultivated on approximately 2,100ha across the country in 18 districts identified by MINAGRI and RAB (Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development
In order to promote farmers’ self-reliance and scale up the benefits of this support, JICA will provide the seed for one-half of the area farmers intend to grow vegetables and farmers will commit to purchase the seed for the remaining half, resulting in a total of 4,200ha being cultivated. The beneficiary farmers will be given technical guidance from extension officers in each district, using the experiences and technical skills gained through the Smallholder Market-oriented Agriculture Project (SMAP)1.
For the last 10 years, JICA has been promoting smallholder market-oriented agriculture across the country, which has significantly increased farmers’ income. Providing quality vegetable seeds to smallholder farmers, amid the disruption of supply chains caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic, will contribute to the economic recovery of the country as well as to stabilize market prices for both rural and urban consumers.
Moreover, through this support, JICA and MINAGRI expect to raise awareness of farmers about the importance of the use of quality seeds for improving the productivity and quality of vegetables and to maintain and sustain farming businesses.