30 complete contract farming course by FAO-IFAD

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Over 30 government official, including law and policy maker, leaders of cooperatives from the private agribusiness sector, NGO’s and stakeholders have completed a four course on contract farming course at Umubano Hotel, Kigali.

Organized by FAO-IFAD, under the theme “Legal and Operational Aspects of Contract Farming Schemes” the workshop was focused in increasing linkages between farmers and agribusiness firms, so as to address many challenges that include access to farm inputs, modern technologies, finance and markets faced by smallholder farmers who provide up to 80% of the food in Rwanda.

During the official launch of the course, FAO Country Representative to Rwanda, Mr. Attaher Maiga said that Rwanda is rapidly urbanizing and experiencing fast economic and population growth rates and as a result of these social and demographic trends, nutritional habits are changing and so is the demand for food attributes such as the ones associated with quality, diversity and supply regularity is growing.

“Transformations that are taking place in Rwanda, and primarily in the so-called “beyond the farm gate activities” that include logistics, wholesaling, processing and retailing may further limit the access of smallholder farmers to the modernizing agricultural and food markets.” He added

Dr. Telesphore Ndabamenye, the head of the crop production and food security at RAB said that “Contract Farming” is one of the proven mechanisms that can be endorsed to improve productivity and smallholder farm extensiveness in food and agriculture systems.

“Both contractors and buyers of farm products can be guaranteed since they both have a binding agreement. In Rwanda, the concept has not yet started especially with some of the country because terrain and as well as the crops that are produced differ.” Dr. Ndabamenye added

In Rwanda, there some successful contract farming schemes in areas such as coffee and grain already exist but many small holder farmers do not understand the important of the concept.

Vincent Hamigyimana from Kinigi Potato Cooperative who attended the course, said “They learnt about different types of contracts, how they are formulated and to seek for legal advice for interpretation.”

The joint work initiative of FAO with UNIDROIT, AND IFAD aimed towards the development of the “Legal Guide on Contract Farming”, and was launched in 2015 and IFAD has generously provided FAO with a grant for a project to dissemate key messages and principles of this legal Guide.

Dr Ndabamenye further pointed out that, the participants are expected to implement what they have learnt, as well as train others in their respective districts.

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