Agribusiness academy to promote farmers’ entrepreneurial linkages

Members of agribusiness are set to see the sector improve through direct linkages between farmers, entrepreneurs, information and market linkage across the continent.
Huijsman (R) chats with Nsanganira (C) and Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda Frederique Maria de Man. (Doreen Umutesi)
Huijsman (R) chats with Nsanganira (C) and Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda Frederique Maria de Man. (Doreen Umutesi)

Members of agribusiness are set to see the sector improve through direct linkages between farmers, entrepreneurs, information and market linkage across the continent.

This is an initiative of the Africa Agribusiness Academy (AAA), a Pan-African business platform for small and medium-sized agri-food enterprises.

 

Speaking at a roundtable meeting in Kigali, yesterday, Abraham Huijsman, the chairperson of AAA, said they are currently active in six countries across the continent where they are engaging more than one million farmers, creating direct links between farmers and entrepreneurs in terms of getting the produce from farms to processing or input supply in terms of seeds.

 

“We’re here to discuss how to improve the viability of AAA and promote a win-win situation between farmers and entrepreneurs and how they can benefit each other,” he said.

 

Member companies of AAA share and pool knowledge and experiences, collaborate and form partnerships, support one another and provide inspiration and guidance for current and up-and-coming agribusinesses, inside and outside of the network.

Tony Nsanganira, the state minister for agriculture, said the move will help more farmers to embrace business-oriented agriculture, which he said can lift more farmers to better living conditions.

“It is a good initiative that will supplement our existing programmes aimed to promote professional and business oriented agriculture. It will help farmers to understand that agriculture sector can lift them to a better life once practiced with a business spirit as we know that our national economy depends much on this sector,” he said.

Founded in 2010, AAA is currently active in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia and Rwanda.

Each country has a national chapter that coordinates its activities, with regional business clubs stimulating tight cooperation between members from the same area while sector-specific and thematic collaboration is achieved through the communities of practice, with members benefitting from exposure to transnational experiences and knowledge.

Jean Claude Ruzibiza, the chairperson of AAA Rwanda Chapter, said the platform helps both farmers and entrepreneurs to easily access the market and expand businesses to other member countries.

“Information sharing and market linkage will help us boost our businesses. For instance, you can be in need of the market for your produce in Rwanda and share information through website or our WhatsApp group with members in other countries about the quality of your produce and the price, then they link you with buyers in their countries, or if you want to buy produce from their countries, they can share information with you and then you send money to them as they help to buy, pack and send the products to you,” Ruzibiza explained.

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