The Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources Dr. Geraldine Mukeshimana on Friday, August 30th, 2019 officially inaugurated an Incubation center dubbed ‘Envisage Youth Agribusiness Incubator inside Gatenga Sector’s Business Development Fund (BDF) to help young graduates who are in Agribusiness sector tackle existing challenges.
Envisage Youth Agribusiness Incubator is a flagship project powered by a collaborative consortium of partners from both Rwanda and Finland; namely: Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF), Rwanda Business Development Fund (BDF), Local Universities (starting from Christian University of Rwanda, then University of Rwanda and University of Kibungo) – from Rwanda; as well as Hanken Entrepreneurship Society & Hanken Business Lab of Hanken School of Economics, University of Helsinki, and other top notch business incubators – from Finland.
Mukeshimana commended efforts of this kind of partnership, saying that Agriculture is not a business of one person, but is something that is complex.
“Our country is promoting Agribusiness and the private sector is the one that does business, our aim is to increase many entrepreneurs in Agriculture system. The two main challenges we still have are small scare land and access to finance,” she said.
The Minister requested BDF to adequately help these young graduates in Agribusiness to run successful projects.
“We want them to be known by the banks, failure to support them to move their businesses forward has bad impacts and supporting them to grow has millions of opportunities for this country,” Mukeshimana noted.
The incubator has as purpose of accelerating the sustainable growth of Rwandan startups especially in the agricultural industry. In order to produce strong and successful companies that can leave the incubator financially viable and freestanding. The graduates innovate the agricultural industry, create jobs and strengthens the Rwandan economy.
Its main objectives include: Create new jobs for youth in Rwanda especially in the agriculture sector, empower young entrepreneurs in rural areas and in universities that have impactful agribusiness business ideas to try them at no risk, innovate and increase production in all parts of the agricultural value chain in Rwanda, decrease number of handlebars in farming while increasing production, fulfill the domestic demand for agricultural products and increase export and generate new tax returns in Rwanda.
Jean Baptiste Hategekimana, the Chairman of Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) said that this initiative will be useful to tackle many challenges youth in agribusiness have been experiencing since three years of their activities and these include lack of needed skills to tackle existing problems in agribusiness sector.
“We wish that these youths can be at a good level of handling existing problems facing Agribusiness after three to six months from now. This step to work with BDF will help our youths to manage their activities,” he said. Norbert Rafiki, a graduate from CAVM-Busogo in Food Science and Technology is actually a beneficiary who is undergoing the training in this incubator, applying Hydroponic system to cultivate in water without soil. “I hope to gain further knowledge and management of my business through this incubator,” he said.
From RYAF Communication Team