The President of the Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, Denis Sassou Nguesso has hailed the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA) for its agricultural innovation within the country and on the African continent. “A few days ago, I visited @Rica_Rwanda, an example for the continent in terms of innovation for the development of agriculture. Together, let’s provide young generations with the means to succeed in #Africa,” Nguesso posted on his Twitter page (in French), on July 24. The President visited RICA on July 22. The institute tweeted that during his visit, he explored the Dairy Enterprise, Dairy Processing, and Grain Center, gaining valuable insight into the entire dairy value chain taught at RICA. ALSO READ: President Nguesso to visit Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture Located in Bugesera District, Eastern Province of Rwanda, the higher learning institution is part of multimillion-dollar agriculture initiatives in the country that are funded by American philanthropist Howard G. Buffett. According to information from the Government of Rwanda, Nguesso commended the university’s outstanding contribution to agricultural transformation in Rwanda and on the continent. ALSO READ: Rwanda bets on agriculture institute to drive up innovation RICA focuses on conservation agriculture – a farming system that can prevent losses of arable land while regenerating degraded lands, for improved farm productivity. According to information from this higher learning institution, its campus manages 1,300 hectares which, among other purposes, helps students to get hands-on learning in conservation agriculture. The campus has crop and livestock farms to this end. RICA has a mission to educate and inspire a new generation of innovators transforming agriculture, indicating that its curriculum is built on conservation agriculture and One Health principles, “as we teach students farming, mechanisation, and irrigation techniques that improve agriculture productivity,” with a goal to have 80 per cent entrepreneurs as graduates. ALSO READ: Is Africa’s quest to attract 30% of the youth to agriculture achievable? Meanwhile, in 2014, African Heads of State committed to create job opportunities for 30 per cent of the continent’s youth through agriculture by 2025 under what is called the Malabo Declaration. However, according to agricultural actors, the continent was not on track to achieve that target as a result of factors, including that agriculture was not attractive enough to the youth due to the sector being considered not profitable — compared to some others. Other factors are that the sector involves drudgery (fatiguing work) due to lack of technologies such as tractors for tilling land, and harvesting machines.