International Seed Federation (ISF) has partnered with Fair Planet, an Israeli non-profit organization, to launch a project that will revolutionize Rwanda’s agriculture industry. The Seed Resilience project aims to improve local farmers’ productivity and income by providing them with high-quality seeds and modern farming techniques. With diverse cultural and farming practices and a wide range of agro-climatic conditions, Rwanda is the perfect fit for this project. The success of the project also relies on the regulations and openness of the Rwandan government and their eagerness to help smallholder farmers improve their livelihoods.
The project will focus on finding high-quality seeds that are developed for more diverse conditions such as drought resistance, disease tolerance, and higher yield. These suitable varieties will increase local farmers’ productivity and income. Rwanda’s export opportunities, especially in the DR Congo, where only a portion of land is arable and cultivated, also make it a prime location for this project.
The next phase of the project will be to identify the right seed varieties for the growers, based on market needs and preferences for specific crops, and the crops Rwandan farmers need to grow to complement other locally grown foods. The project will also focus on identifying vegetable varieties that perform well in the environment to help fill out the low vegetable consumption rate in Rwandan diets.
Fair Planet will be hosting open field day trials to showcase what they’re finding, giving smallholder farmers a chance to see the varieties in action before trying them themselves. According to Hélène Khan Niazi, ISF’s international agriculture manager, the aim is to help build a sustainable system that enables farmers and all the agro-business to make a living out of their work, instead of keeping them in a dependent state. With the Seed Resilience project, Rwanda’s agriculture industry is set to take a massive leap towards productivity, income generation, and sustainability.