September 23, 2016

Rwanda: Potato Farmers, Tractor Salesmen & Certificates

On a hot, August day in Burera District, in the north of Rwanda, the Joint Action Development Forum (JADF) kicked off their annual, two-day agribusiness event. The open days are designed so that local businesses and development partners can showcase their activities, products, explore new market opportunities, network with potential business partners and explore the range of services offered by development partners.

A whole range of businesses were on display – from potato farmers to tractor sellers – all promoting the “Made in Rwanda” mantra. And SPARK was invited…

JADF01Within the Northern territories, SPARK has been implementing the Cooperative Support Programme (CSP). The programme aims to enhance the business skills and competitive capacity of existing cooperatives and their support network, to enhance income, job creation and food security.

CSP provides trainings, proximity coaching and business linkages to 100 different cooperatives involved in the value chains of horticulture, Irish potatoes, beans and maize within 19 districts of the North-West region.

The districts appreciated SPARK for the 6 agricultural cooperatives supported to access loans worth 16,010,000RWF to procure agricultural inputs.

JADF02Amongst the stalls of fresh produce and farming equipment there was a buzz of excitement as the guest of honour, Honourable Semasaka, from the Rwandan Parliament, made his way through the crowds. He was joined by the Mayor of Burera District, Florence Uwambajemariya.

On the stage, Honourable Semaska said a few words and Mayor Uwambajemariya reminded the audience that within the Burera District around 50% of the population lives below the poverty line, with around 23% living in extreme poverty. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop livelihood opportunities, which will bring about improvements to education, health, infrastructure, tourism and biodiversity.

To the surprise of SPARK Rwanda employees, the office was then presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for exemplary commitment to sustainable development in the Burera District. We are honoured to have received such recognition and are encouraged to commit further efforts to the Cooperative Support Programme.

See more pictures of the event here.


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