China commits $ 4.5m to agricultural research

SOUTHERN PROVINCE HUYE - A foundation stone was laid Thursday for the construction of an agricultural technological demonstration centre at the Rwanda Institute of Scientific and Agricultural research (ISAR).
Members of the delegation from Fu Jian Province of China laying a foundation stone at ISAR. (Photo/Ntambara).
Members of the delegation from Fu Jian Province of China laying a foundation stone at ISAR. (Photo/Ntambara).

SOUTHERN PROVINCE

HUYE - A foundation stone was laid Thursday for the construction of an agricultural technological demonstration centre at the Rwanda Institute of Scientific and Agricultural research (ISAR).

Built with the assistance of the Chinese Government, the centre is expected to serve as a bridge between the researcher and the end user, who is the farmer or agro-processor.

The Director General of ISAR, Dr Mark Cyubahiro, said that the centre will mainly focus on training farmers and extension groups to be able to add value to what they produce.

“Technologies are produced from research but getting them to the end user through technology transfer process becomes a problem,” he said.

“The centre comes to build the capacity of our extension system so that research output can be able to reach the end user.”

Agriculture Minister Christopher Bazivamo hailed Rwanda-China relations saying that the bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector will take them to another level.

The Minister said that centre comes in handy because it is in line with the country’s vision of transforming agriculture into a productive, high value, market oriented sector.

Bazivamo said that through the centre, local farmers and their cooperatives will receive training on modern farming technologies which they will be able to transfer to their communities.

“Chinese experts at the centre will set up demonstration farms and are also expected to carry out large scale crop production for the market,” he added.

The agricultural technological demonstration centre at ISAR will mainly focus on the production of rice, mushrooms, fish and natural resource management by stabilising steep slopes.

The Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Sun Shuzhong, said that as the world’s fastest developing country, China has fed more than 20 percent of the World’s population by only 7 percent of its arable land.

He said that his country has made remarkable achievements in its agricultural development with noticeable improvement in its agricultural technology and equipment.

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