By Elias Hakizimana.
Rwanda’s Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) has welcomed the Rwanda Chapter of African Youth in Livestock, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Incubation Network (AYL-FAIN) that was inaugurated in Kigali to advance Agriculture and animal farming.
The official launch of this network has taken place in Kigali on December 11th, 2019 amid the two-day meeting that ends today on December 12, 2019. The meeting was organized by African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in partnership with Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF).
Speaking to the media after the launch, Solange Uwituje, Deputy Director General for Animal Research and Technology Transfer at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), she thanked RYAF to enable youth create jobs in Agriculture and livestock, noting that the AYL-FAIN Rwanda Chapter will help to get mores youth useful in boosting Agriculture sector.
“We currently work with youth in various agricultural activities but without a network that gathers them together, this network will help us reach out youths who are in the sector to help us advance our PST4 programme that looks on boosting agriculture and livestock development.” Uwituje said.
The Launch of a national Chapter of AYL-FAIN Rwanda aims at creating jobs and wealth that inform government and stakeholder interventions targeting women and youths in animal resources sector in Rwanda.
Jean Baptiste Hategekimana, Continental AYL-FAIN President and Chairman of RYAF said that youth engagement in Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture Incubation Network (AYL-FAIN) aims to have improved and productive work in the sector of Agriculture and Livestock.
“We are excited to launch this network as part of agribusiness, we partner with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Ministry of Youth and the Ministry of Trade to inaugurate this initiative.
He explained that the network existed since 2017 and was officially launched in 2018 in Cairo-Egypt following RYAF’s remarkable activities in strengthening agriculture and livestock.
Since then, Jean Hategekimana was elected to head AYL-FAIN during a two-year term until 2020.
“We are here gathering various scattered efforts and partners in agriculture and livestock, we have youth basically who grow chickens, cows, pigs, fishes, bees, agriculture inputs suppliers and those who do value addition. Gathering them together is a good initiative to show a good example to Africa that this is crucial at every country level. It is also to share opportunities, challenges of youth in this sector to policy makers so that the government go back in its food production programmes and see what can be done to tackle youth impediment in doing productive agriculture and animal farming,” said Fabrice Ndayisenga, Head of Department Animal Resources Research and Technology Transfer at RAB.
“We have a problem of subsistence Agriculture, Agriculture of consumption and we need to shift from this to market oriented Agriculture. This needs skilled youth like you to combat unemployment rate of our region. I request you to use available opportunities you are getting like such significant forums to be able to meet your own and national development”. Ndayisenga told youth engaged in agribusiness.
Youth speak out
Theonestine Iribagiza, a poultry farmer from Bugesera District said the network will help them to raise existing challenges in poultry farming where they still have a problem of high cost of feeds while egg prices remain cheap.
“High cost of poultry feeds is a big concern we still have, we wish that the government of Rwanda can help us by either decreasing the prices of feeds or increasing the price of eggs,” she noted.
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