KIGALI - The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Agnes Kalibata, has called for a strong partnership between farmers and agricultural traders in the country.
She made the call yesterday while addressing members of farmers’ cooperatives and traders during a Commodity Trade Fair in Kigali.
“Our country has tremendously improved in terms of promoting agriculture, but we have been lacking a linkage between farmers and traders, which needs to be bridged,” Kalibata said.
She urged farmers to always produce high quality products saying that this will enable them to easily get market and encouraged them to increase their production.
The minister encouraged traders to always buy the produce at reasonable prices in order to motivate more people to invest in the agricultural sector.
She also explained about the new ICT tool, e-Soko, that helps farmers in villages understand market prices of agricultural products in Kigali City and other parts of the country.
Speaking to The New Times, Kalibata said that the main objective of the trade fair was to introduce farmers’ cooperatives to traders in order for both parties to get to know each other and help farmers understand what the market needs in terms of quality and quantity.
She noted that it is expected that at the end of the trade fair, farmers’ cooperatives will sign contracts with various traders in order to begin supplying them with their produce.
In an interview, Joseph Gafaranga, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Farmers Federation, said: “I thank the government and WFP for organizing this trade fair because it has enabled us get in touch with buyers which will make a big impact on our trade.”
The fair was organized by MINAGRI in collaboration with World Food Program (WFP) and attracted 45 farmers’ cooperatives and 32 traders.