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Wednesday, 07 December 2016

Rwanda: 7,000 Farmers Linked to Markets

So far, over 7,000 farmers have been trained and linked to different markets through a 4-year project designed to help farmers market their produce, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) has said. The Rwf4bn Link Farmers to Market Project (LIFAM), to be concluded this year, is financed by the Netherlands government and implemented by PSF, according to Regina Kayitesi, the national project coordinator. She was speaking to The New Times, on Monday, at the closure of a four-day farmers exhibition at Gikondo Expo grounds. The expo, attended by over 200 farmers, was organised by the Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock at PSF. The expo was themed "unlocking the potential of Rwandan farmers to markets." "The project builds the capacity of farmers in agriculture and animal practices, links them to markets, and trains them in post-harvest handling, among others. One group of the trained farmers reported that they got a profit of Rwf300m after being linked to the market," she said. Kayitesi added that most of them were also facilitated to attend exhibitions outside country, go on field visits especially in central African countries, train in technology, innovation, and value addition to agriculture and animal products. Francois Karamaga, a tea farmer who participated in the exhibition, said: "We are seeking international markets for our produce. We learned different agriculture and animal practices, including adaptation to climate change, ways of increasing productivity and ways of finding markets." Karamaga, however, said visitors to the exhibition were few than expected. He called for proper timing and more publicity campaigns to attract more buyers in the next expo. "For example, PSF says we must work with hotels to get market for our products yet we didn't see them visit our stalls. We need a platform with hoteliers to discuss partnership," he added.

Source: All Africa