The Ministry of Agriculture’s plan to modernise agriculture through mechanisation has been delayed.
Plans by a South Korean agro equipment supplier, Tongyang Mooisan LTD, to set up an agricultural tools assembling plant were supposed to kick off last month.
“The equipment was supposed to be ready this season but we were delayed by the procurement process and also putting in place an assembling workshop in preparation for an assembling plant,” the Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Kalibata, told The New Times.
She added that further delays were due to Korean public holidays.
The ministry announced that it is in the process of mechanising agriculture in order to increase farm output, as the sector moves towards using powered machinery instead of manpower.
According to the Minister, her ministry entered into an agreement with the Korean company in April this year.
“We are confident that this company will be able to supply our needs.
They have promised to offer training for our people on all supplied machines.”
The contract states that the Korean firm will supply 100 tractors, 100 trailers, 1034 sowing equipment, 1000 iron wheels, 140 potato harvesters and 10 combined harvesters.
“These machines will be assembled here and sold to the farmers; we are working on a payment program with banks and micro finance institutions to make it easier for farmers to access the machines.
Tongyang Mooisan LTD has promised to set up a plant here which will help in training, machine assembly and sales, not just for Rwanda, but the whole region as well,” Kalibata said.
The Ministry will be sending six staff members to South Korea for training in June. The trainees will be at the forefront of the implementation of the mechanisation project.
Kalibata disclosed that the ministry injected $1.5m into the project adding that Korean technicians completed a survey to determine the kind of agricultural machines specific to Rwanda’s landscape.