L-R: The Dean of the faculty of Agriculture at NUR, the Acting Rector of ISAE, the Deputy Director General of RAB and the representative of NICHE project in Rwanda.
The National University of Rwanda’s faculty of Agriculture (FACAGRI) and the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (ISAE) are set to reinforce their relations with agriculture stakeholders in order to upgrade Agriculture sector.
This was announced during a workshop held in Kigali under the support of NICHE project.
At this occasion even other partners in Agriculture sector such as the Rwanda Agriculture Board, Forum of Farmers, private sector and students of agriculture studies also promise to get on board.
According to Dr. Solange Uwituze, the Dean of the faculty of Agriculture at NUR the workshop was organized in order to create a platform of agriculture stakeholders so that they can share different ideas to strengthen existing efforts aiming at developing agriculture sector in Rwanda.
“The synergy among stakeholders in agriculture is a laudable accomplishment,” said Innocent Musabyimana , the Deputy Director General of Rwanda Agriculture Board in charge of Agriculture Extension,
He commended NUR and ISAE for their commitment in agriculture sector and said that they are opening up a new chapter to the development of agriculture.
“We commend higher learning institutions for their will to participate deeply in the development of agriculture sector. Quite a long ago, there was an attitude that higher learning institutions are limited only to education and research but nowadays they are considering extension as part of their mission.
This is a very important mindset which is going to impact on agriculture and benefit farmers and the country as well.”
Dr. Laetitia Nyinawamwiza, the acting Rector of ISAE said that the institution is now focusing on reinforcing the culture of using knowledge to make impact in the society.
“Extension of our knowledge for the benefit of farmers is part of our mission. We are encouraging students and lecturers to apply the findings of their research in view of making impact in the society for the benefit of our main stakeholders who are farmers,” said Nyinawamwiza.
One of the farmers, Joseph Gafaranga who experienced the partnership between higher learning institutions and farmers says that this cooperation is very vital.
He said: “We are benefiting from the collaboration between higher learning institution and farmers. For instance, in our region, students on internship visit us in our gardens and guide us how to use manure properly, another fact is their assistance regarding food processing. This teamwork has been very beneficial for us in boosting the production and income.”
According to Jean de Dieu Mugesera, a student in the faculty of Agriculture at NUR, students also are eager to participate in the process of knowledge extension. Mugesera asserts that students understand their responsibility to help farmers to develop agriculture sector.
In the spirit of becoming closer with farmers, research centres will be transformed into extension centres. Dr. George Nyumbaire, the coordinator of NICHE project in the faculty of Agriculture at NUR reckons that this will benefit both farmers and researchers.
“This will facilitate our relationship with farmers seeing that we will learn from them and they will also learn from us, said Dr. Nyumbaire”.
Presently in Rwanda, higher learning institutions are challenged by the government to translate the theories into practice for the benefit of the population