Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum
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Meet Umulisa, Rwandan Young Agripreneur running productive Chilli farming for export

Allen Umulisa, 23 is a young practitioner in Agribusiness since July 2019. She runs Chilli farming activities and most of her produce is taken to export.

Umulisa’s dreams oriented her to become an ambitious farmer since she was a child.

“I’m the youngest successful farmer in Rwanda; proclaims ambitious ‘farmer by birth’

“Farming is in me and it runs in my blood and veins, I am farmer by birth” confidently declares Allen Umulisa (23) one of Rwanda’s youngest farmers.” She affirms.

She became a farmer at the age of 22 after getting the truth that Rwanda’s government is committed to empowering women in job creation in different sector from 2019.

“My activities are based in Nyagatare District, Rwimiyaga sector in Nyarupfubire cell, I appreciate the present Rwanda’s leadership that upholds women empowerment, I realized that I have to take the initiative and contribute to this empowerment endowed to us; thus, I started chilli farming.” She says.

Umulisa says she kept on thinking of what she could do to prepare her future development as a young woman and she used to think how her family, the community as well as the nation can get her contribution at large and ended up choosing chilli farming.

She says the aim was to contribute to the increase of Rwanda’s food export commodities to the international market by also promoting Made in Rwanda products.

“I then began from a quarter of a hectare and five months later, I harvested four tones; this was not however the expected harvest due to heavy sunshine in the Eastern part of Rwanda and Nyagatare; and still, irrigating this small land remains a challenge.” Umulisa says.

She notes she realized to start investing money despite the dry season.

“I said I have to invest the money and I got 4 tones as the first yield. After selling the produce, I expanded the land to a hectare with a hope that the previous learning will help me get even more benefits. The main challenge is the dry season that is even becoming heavier thus I am in an urgent need for an irrigation system.” She adds.

Calling for support

Umulisa wants support to improve on her Chilli production especially when it comes to irrigation.

She says the main challenge she still encounter is lack of smart irrigation equipment.

“Any support especially on the irrigation system would help me make this business sustainable and build even more income at the same time positively impacting my community and the country in general.” Umulisa says.

Tackling unemployment, especially among the youth, is one of the top priorities of the Government, which has committed to creating at least 200,000 off-farm jobs annually.

Besides, Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) have established and strengthened youth capacity in agro-processing, initially by changing the old mind-set among the youth vis-à-vis the agricultural sector in Rwanda.

Chilli is among the top Rwanda’s export commodities after coffee and Tea.

Figures from the 2018/2019 annual report by the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) show that tea export revenue decreased by 5 per cent from $88 million in 2017/2018 to $83 million (about Rwf74 billion based on current exchange rates) in 2018/2019.

However, its exports volumes increased by 10 per cent from 27,000 tonnes to 30,000.

The same report indicated that coffee revenue decreased from $69 million in 2017/2018 to $68 million (about Rwf61 billion based on current exchange rates) in 2018/2019, whereas the export quantities increased by 6 per cent from 20,000 tonnes to 21,000 tonnes in 2018/2019.

From RYAF Communication Team

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