Fifty staff of public and private institutions in the agricultural sector have received study scholarships for Masters degree programs in India, from the Project for the Strategic Transformation of Agriculture (PAPSTA).
The confirmed students were yesterday briefed on what was expected of them by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Agnes Kalibata.
The candidates who qualified to benefit from the scholarships came from private firms dealing with agriculture, while others came from the Ministry of Agriculture.
According to officials, the scholarships came in to bridge the existing skills gaps in the agricultural sector.
“Comparing to other sectors, agriculture has capacity gaps that needs to be filled urgently,” Kalibata said after the briefing.
Kalibata mentioned some of the most sensitive gaps in the agricultural sector, as irrigation development, agro-business development and live stock production. The 50 will set off for India on Saturday for the two-year course and their positions will remain vacant.
“Because of the urgency of the need, we have decided to send you at the same time, improvise the opportunity to learn from others,” warned Karibata.
According to Janvier Gasasira, the coordinator of PAPSTA, the project will cater for their tuition, air tickets and the students upkeep.
“We selected the best and we hope you don’t disappoint Rwanda. Come with new techniques, research a lot and relate to people you don’t know so as you acquire knowledge,” said Gasasira.
Among the 180 people who applied, only 50 qualified. The selection was based on priority gaps in the agriculture sector.
“We are competent people, with enough agricultural skills. Learning will be easy for us,” said Elvis Blaise Nkundanyirazo, an employee of MINAGRI who is among the candidates.
The students are expected to serve the agricultural sector for a mandatory five years upon completion of their studies.