The average of age of farmers in the country stands at 55 years which agriculture experts fear is likely lead to a decline in productivity if youth do not venture into the sector.
Agriculture is identified as one of six pillars to achieve national development ambitions outlined under Vision 2020 strategy.
Agro-processing with advanced food industry, technology intensive agriculture with a commercial focus could drive national economy according to officials.
However, government officials say this ambition is at risk if the youth are not involved in the sector.
The government is set to carry out a national survey to map all the youth aged 18-35 currently involved in agribusiness.
The outcome of the study which is expected to take about a month will enable the creation of a database of all youth engaged in the agribusiness, which can be used by all stakeholders and the government to inform policy, advocacy and support.
The Exercise will be conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, the ministry with Agriculture and the ministry of Trade together with Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF)
Speaking to The New Times, Minister for Youth Rosemary Mbabazi said that mapping would help know the location of youth involved in agriculture, activities they are involved in and support and advocacy required.
“This is a joint programme, if you look at the overage of farmer’s age is about 55, if we don’t have a prepared youth to venture into agriculture, the sector will remain unprofessional. However, we can change this as our youth are educated and some of them have agriculture background and can transform the sector,” she said.
“We are conducting joint mapping to know the whereabouts of young farmers, what kind of support and advocacy they need and activities of agribusiness they are involved in. we want to encourage more youth to venture into agribusiness
We want more youth to be involved in modern farming, if our economy is based on agriculture we need more youth to be involved,” she added.
She said that young farmers are involved in various aspects in the sector including seeds multiplication, distribution, ICT in agriculture, livestock and research among others
Agriculture contributed to 31percent of Growth Domestic product in 2017 following service sector with 46percent according to the national Institute of statistics.
Rwanda’s vision on agricultural development to achieve food security for its citizens and to fight poverty by attaining per capita income of US$1240 by the year 2020.