Young Agripreneur Reforming farmer Cooperative Management in Nyagatare

Nduwayezu Anastase, a member of Rwanda Youth Forum in Agriculture (RYAF) is helping Farmers in
Nyagatare District in the Eastern Province of Rwanda to modernize their agriculture practices in order to
remain at the forefront of producing enough agricultural outputs for family food and market.
Nduwayezu is among the young graduates deployed by RYAF in various part of the country to help
farmers to practice modern farming as part of the Government of Rwanda efforts in ending hunger among
communities.
This young Agripreneur was deployed in "Cooperative des Agriculteurs de Maïs de Nyakagarama"
(COAMN) which is located in Kabusunzu village, Nyakagarama cell, Rukomo sector, Nyagatare district,
in Eastern province.
The cooperative has 27 members among them 16 are women.
It grows two main crops including maize and beans, where maize are mainly planted in season A with the
rotation of beans in season B yearly.
Nduwayezu says “When I was deployed at the Cooperative, the later has been struggling with the low
performance and had other problems which include the administration disorder in the cooperative.”
“The first thing I did is to join together all cooperative committees to solve some of internal problems
and mismanagement of the cooperative,” He adds.
When RYAF deploys young agriculture graduates in various part of the country, the youth umbrella urges
them to provide advisory ideas to farmers Cooperatives and to ensure that the agriculture outputs are well
managed while at the same time helping farmers to get market for their harvests.
“Really, at the beginning it was very hard to bring them together and have the same focus. I improved the
partnership between I and cooperative leaders to ensure the good progress of this cooperative.”
Nduwayezu said.
For Nduwayezu, being a Cooperative Support officer is not an easy task.
“In most of farmer cooperatives around the country, there are challenges like Mismanagement of
cooperative due to the unskilled and selfishness of their leaders (Nepotism), there is also
problems of Aflatoxins which destroyed their maize produce and lack postharvest facilities.” He narrated

In the Eastern Province where Nduwayezu was deployed there were also challenges of misuse of
cooperative resources by some of cooperative leaders, Absence of youth involvement in agriculture.

“About 99% of all members of cooperative are adult of more than 55 ages. “ He said

The Eastern Zone of Rwanda is characterized by drought due to long dry season, impacts of climate
change, fall army worm which sometime attack maize crop among many others

However, Nduwayezu said “I hope the assistance we provided will help them to tackle all of those issues
in addition to the Government supports always provided to farmers when they are facing difficult
obstacles.”
The RYAF under the close collaboration with the Post-Harvest Agribusiness Support Project (PASP)
project has been assigned to be responsible for supporting cooperatives in various value chains.
In this context, Nduwayezu helped COAMN farmers to develop a successful project which later got
support of FRW 3 million.
“Together with other interns we have a project that we developed together and it was successful.”
Nduwayezu said
“The project which will support the cooperative received a financial support of Frw 3 million donated by
World Vision and we have already signed a contract for its implementation.” He added
“The cooperative leaders are proud and thanking RYAF so much for their privilege support they provided
to them through the Cooperative support officer and the interns usually help them in their productive daily
life,” He noted.
To me, Nduwayezu says “I am deeply indebted to Mr. Jean Baptist HATEGEKIMANA and all RYAF
team for their first step to make me who I am precisely in cooperative management and GAP in maize
production respectively.”
RYAF is a registered national forum mandated to change the current perception youth among the youths
vis-à-vis the agriculture sector in Rwanda, while orienting them to seize business and investment
opportunities in the sector through awareness creation, skills development, advocacy and support
services.
To date RYAF has 4,300 members grouped in 5 Clusters and work in Five Provinces of Rwanda.

2 thoughts on “Young Agripreneur Reforming farmer Cooperative Management in Nyagatare”

  1. Iradukunda Jean claude

    Ryaf is very interesting it will help to improve agricultural production and increase knowledge and skills about agricultural value chain in nyagatare district

  2. Obviously, mismanagement of cooperative financially is the key to the failure that usually occur in the most of the cooperatives. If we want to make the cooperative a hub for investment by different value chain actors (Other farmers, suppliers, milling machine, manifacturers,upto the retailor…..consumers) RYAF need to intervene through cooperative capacity building (leadership trainings, GAP trainings, Marketing, …….but importantly cooperative management and conflict management training), linking cooperative to financials institution so as to have an intimate access to agriculture inputs/farming equipments and postharvest facilities and therafter link cooperative to those value chain actors for the market/supply. But ……………………………the following is the notorious errors that should be addressed in the first hands: Lack of Record keeping of every transaction done in the cooperative, and deviation to the responsibilities of cooperative executive committee members.

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