Our traditional, indigenous crops and livestock have been blindly sacrificed on the altar of the dominant modernist ideology, without prior assessment of their full worth and possible improvement.
Where is our traditional millet, indigenous to the African Rift Valley? Where are the delicious yams I enjoyed during my childhood? Where have our long-horned igaju (grey) cows gone? And the rustic, environmentally well adapted goats? What of the sheep, whose skin was used for clothing more comfortably and to carry babies on mothers’ back?
The “inducements and clear guidance” you call for, that should be addressed to our banks and their agriculturalist Rwandan clients, shouldn’t be aiming at only producing “big” (the American way!)- increased yields, fast income generating production.
Quality should be considered first, and priority should be given to nutritional demands of Rwandans first. (no GMOs, no unnecessary synthetic fertilisers and hormones), and value addition through further processing will sell well here and abroad!
Banks and agribusiness investors need to bank on agricultural technologies to help manage risks that are associated with agribusiness. Agriculture should be viewed as a knowledge intensive industry that applies the best of sciences and arts in farm production (not necessarily GMO), storage/preservation, supply chains and marketing.
Otherwise well designed agricultural projects and agribusinesses take shorter time to recoup initial investments and generate higher rates
Reactions to the letter, “Banks should support agriculture transformation” (The New Times, March 7)