By Elias Hakizimana.
Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) will soon have offices at district level countrywide to effectively engage youth in Agribusiness.
The idea is to increase capacity and raise the voice of youth in Agribusiness according to Jean Baptiste Hategekimana, Chairman of RYAF.
The forum has almost three years operating in the country and has made tremendous achievements in transforming agriculture.
“We wish to have all coordination of RYAF done at district level so that all partners get closer to increase partnerships and deliverables of performance of RYAF youth. The new initiative will also help to communicate grants and project opportunities through RYAF advocacy and it is better we do this at district level after we have gathered all information on youth in agribusiness,” Hategekimana said.
He said that through this move youth in agribusiness will be able to expand their markets (shops) countrywide and the idea will not only to sell but also to have access to finance that will be done at district level with the support of BDF workers. BDF is the Business Development Fund established to help youth access to loans to start or expand their projects.
Youth who are in agribusiness and those who will need to join the forum will also get registered at the districts, paying Rwf 12,000 each on Mobile telecommunications such as MTN Mobile Money or Airtel Money.
RYAF gathers together youth under 35 years old in different sectors including agriculture, livestock, agro-processing, seeds and fertilizers enterprises, trainers, consultants, ICT developers in agri-business.
Graduates who did environment, food science, marketing, irrigation and mechanization are encouraged to join the forum as skilled persons to help advance the growth and sustainability of RYAF.
“We request youth in districts who like this profession to register as all jobs and further opportunities will be given to registered ones, we encourage University graduates to join and as junior professionals they will help us advance the forum,” Hategekimana noted.
RYAF has currently 291 registered members countrywide, including 80 who work with cooperatives and among the 80; 20 have already their businesses.
Among 291 members, 242 are men while 49 are women. 16 of them have agro-processing factories and the big number of them are based in crop production.
Any registered member will be given a registration code that is pre-requisite.
New selling model
“we are looking a way of selling together through food package. We need to link food science graduates to make everything perfect, clean, sorted and packed to reduce food losses and attract people to buy. We cannot overcome a kind of economization of traders without having that strategy,” he said.
Hategekimana also said that the new selling model will help to avoid any discrimination and exclusion of food products at the market.
He said that RYAF will continue to avoid food losses and boost malnutrition, fighting hunger by intensifying primary production.
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