Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) is a youth platform established to bring together different youth organizations, individual youth farmers and entrepreneurs working in different agriculture sub-sectors. Youth in agriculture are busy working under the following clusters: Inputs and agro-services, livestock, agro-processing, crop production, and finally with ICT for agriculture. The forum aims at changing youth mind-set regarding the agricultural sector across Rwanda, while orienting youth to reach out to other farming groups to raise awareness on the practice of business-oriented agriculture.
From the foregoing, RYAF members together with youth operating in business-oriented agriculture and RYAF key partners have put hands together so that to shore case and brand RYAF while strengthening their business produce.
Since 2016 now, RYAF has achieved a tremendous journey towards shaping agribusiness sector in Rwanda.
RYAF, officially launched on 3rd May 2016, to challenge and change the mind-set among the youths vis-à-vis agriculture, to influence transformation of agricultural agribusiness landscape, impacting positively the status of on & off- farm jobs, integrated and sustainable agro-economic development, food and nutritional securities.
Apart from facilitating youth in agribusiness to change their mind-set, the forum promoted, informed, advocated and mobilized Rwandan youth to engage in agribusiness. Members of the forum have fully involved in technical and financial support.
On May 2017 Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) has signed a five-year partnership with Ghanaian African Agribusiness Incubation Network (AAIN) to support youth in agribusiness.
The partnership is hinged on encouraging the youth to change their attitude and invest some money before seeking support from other partners as well as mobilizing funding opportunities.
The internship opportunities;
The 3 years ago the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of agriculture and animal resources Under the RDB- CDI have signed with an MoU with RYAF to send a young agronomist interns to work in agriculture cooperatives in their respective home areas for a period of twelve months.
Over 1000 interns were deployed to work in rice value chain across the country, the primary target was to support farmers to adapt new techniques in agriculture through boosting productivity and changing mindset from traditional to modern agriculture and provide 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.
On 28th November 2018, RYAF inaugurated a SHOP in Kigali Downtown to support in advertising and marketing youth produces being made from the value chain.
The purpose of this shop is to create awareness of RYAF members so that to have a common market and attract customers while implementing Made in Rwanda products policy.
RYAF targets 100 million trees of fruits planted countrywide.
On 8 December 2018 Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) successfully conducted a function to tackle malnutrition challenge and increase horticulture exports mainly fruits whereby they will plant 100 million of fruit trees in five years from 2019.
RYAF has committed to plant to 100,000,000 fruit trees across the country, including avocados, mangoes, papaya, citrus, apple and other will be considered at high rates while encouraging also business opportunities presented by shrubs including tamarillo, passion fruits, pineapple, strawberries etc.
Through this program, RYAF targets to plant 100 Million Fruit plants in different districts of Rwanda in 5 years where 15,000,000 fruit trees were planted in first year, 25,000,000 in second year, 35,000,000 in third year, 15,000,000 in fourth year and 10,000,000 in fifth year.
The Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources together with FAO and RYAF Hosted Youth Employment in Agriculture as a solid Solution to ending Hunger and Poverty in Africa Kigali Rwanda|20-21 August 2018 under the theme: “Engaging through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Entrepreneurship.”
The conference, ‘Youth Employment in Agriculture as a Solid Solution to Ending Hunger and Poverty in Africa,’ aims to foster an exchange among stakeholders on knowledge and best practices regarding the interlinkages among agriculture, youth employment, entrepreneurship and information and communication technology (ICT) innovations, with a view to prioritizing interventions going forward.
RYAF signed MoU with HIGAWEZE to advance youth capacity building in Agribusiness
A new MoU has been signed between Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) and CNFA/Hinga Weze USAID funded project to advance the capacity of youth engaged in agribusiness and break the barrier for youth participation in agribusiness.
RYAF Chairman Jean Baptiste Hategekimana with Daniel Gies, the Chief of Party of CNFA/Hinga Weze have signed this agreement on November 8, 2018. The partnership with Hinga Weze will help to increase agriculture productivity and improve farmers’ market access and nutrition outcome of agriculture interventions.
Through MoU RYAF together with HINGAWEZE will work together to create more opportunities for the youth to excel in agribusiness. Through the partnership, we will support internship, incubation programs and create 500 youth saving groups in 10 districts where Hinga Weze operates
Strengthening Rwanda Dairy Development Project
Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) through Rwanda Dairy development Project (RDDP) have also signed an MoU in 2018 to increase milk production in the country.
Key highlights of the MoU include:
RYAF veterinary technicians were assigned to renewed efforts to fight mastitis in Gishwati milk shed through support by RDDP, RYAF Technicians coached farmers to control mastitis for to have a sustainable measure to fight the diseases to ensure milk we produce a good quality of milk
RYAF: Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) also assigned its technicians to manage different MCCs where Rwanda Dairy Development Project (RDDP) is operating in 12 districts of the country (Nyanza, Ruhango, Huye, Gicumbi, Burera, Musanze, Nyagatare, Kayonza, Rwamagana, Rutsiro, Nyabihu and Rubavu), to work with farmers to increase milk production.
Cowshed initiative was initiated by the government of Rwanda in 2006 in line with reducing cow disorder in various areas of the country and increasing quality and quantity of dairy products. This also aimed at fighting malnutrition, helping farmers and to adopt zero grazing initiative.
To make initiative successful, the government through Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Board (RAB) and its project RDDP, signed an MoU collaboration with RYAF to help farmers get young veterinary professionals to help farmers in proper management of cowsheds, daily feeding cows, hay storage making, etc.
RYAF Intervention in Coffee:
Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) has been assigned to implement an MoU signed by Rwanda Reserve Force together with National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) to intervene in coffee sector development in Rwanda through providing a technical support in good agriculture practice and innovations towards increase of quality and productivity in coffee, Improve coffee farming profitability through coffee farming management recording keeping and cooperative management, Coffee value chain development job creation, rise of coffee sector professionals and entrepreneurship to RYAF members.
Area of intervention include Kirehe, Rwamagana . Gakenke , Nyamagabe, Rulindo, Rutsiro, Kamonyi, and Ruhango district .
RYAF Intervention in Postharvest losses.
Rwanda is among the leading countries in dealing with Post harvest losses. Through engagement of youth. The Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) supported 80 cooperatives in four value chains including maize and beans, Irish potato, Cassava and Milk for adoption of post-harvest good practices under implementation of PASP (2018-2019). The intervention covered 12 districts of Rwanda.
The main responsibility of these youth was to help cooperatives (in target) in their ways towards transforming agriculture practices from “Just farming” but to market-oriented farming. Through doing financial record/Book keeping, assisting cooperative for the development and review of 5 years strategic plans and annual work plans, Supporting and linking cooperatives with buyers (markets), sensitizing the cooperative members to generate ideas for bankable Business Plan developments and ensuring follow-up of the activities after business plan financing, coaching cooperative members on Postharvest Good practices especially for the prevention of Aflatoxin.
RYAF intervention in the implementation of sustainable agriculture Intensification Project (SAIP).
Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) through Sustainable agriculture Intensification Project (SAIP).
have also signed an MoU in 2019 with Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF)
The main purpose of this MoU is to agree on the terms and conditions for the technical assistance related to the implementation of Sustainable Agriculture Intensification and Food Security Project (SAIP) through in these three key activities, farmers organizations, Agricultural irrigation extension services and Nutrition improvement and Value chain development.
We cannot also forget how Rwanda gets global recognition for strengthening youth involvement in Agriculture
The real event took place at Rome on May 26, 2019.
Rwanda’s vision for agricultural transformation and development is to achieve food security. In line with achieving this target, since 2016, the country committed to empowering young people in the agriculture sector, after 3 years Rwanda was awarded a global prize institute by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for outstanding efforts involving youth in Rwanda ‘Agriculture transformation.
The Award consists of an inscribed medal, a scroll describing the winner’s achievements and a cash prize of USD 25,000. Winners are presented with the award by the Director-General at a special ceremony held during the year of the FAO Conference.
The award winning project, “Strengthening youth roles and access in the Agricultural sector in Rwanda” funded by the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) has supported the establishment of Rwanda Youth Involvement in Agribusiness (RYAF), a platform that brings together different youth organizations, individual youth farmers and entrepreneurs in Agriculture Sector working in one or many of the agriculture value chains.
From RYAF Communication