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Rwanda and Volkswagen Collaborate to Introduce Electric Tractors for Sustainable Farming.

Rwanda is taking a significant step towards agricultural modernization and environmental protection by partnering with Volkswagen, a German motor vehicle manufacturer, to introduce locally assembled electric tractors. This innovative collaboration aims to enhance agricultural mechanization while reducing carbon emissions.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) in Rwanda signed a memorandum of understanding with Volkswagen on June 9 to implement the GenFarm Project. This initiative will enable farmers to boost production while promoting sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

The GenFarm Project serves as a sustainable hub where farmers can reserve an e-tractor equipped with a trained driver. By utilizing locally assembled Volkswagen electric tractors, Rwanda is embracing advanced agricultural practices and emphasizing its commitment to environmental sustainability.

Ildephonse Musafiri, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, highlighted the numerous benefits of electric tractors, including reduced carbon emissions, improved energy efficiency, and lower operational costs. The adoption of this technology aims to enhance agricultural sustainability and minimize the sector’s environmental impact.

The MOU signing ceremony between the Rwandan government and Volkswagen took place with the presence of President Paul Kagame, who received a delegation of Volkswagen Group Executives. The visit coincided with the 5th anniversary of Volkswagen’s partnership with Rwanda.

Through the GenFarm Project, farmers in Rwanda will gain access to Volkswagen electric tractors as part of an effort to establish a comprehensive ecosystem of e-powered mechanized farming services. This initiative aligns with the strategic plan for agriculture transformation (PSTA-4) outlined in MINAGRI’s Annual Report 2021-2022, which aims to promote mechanized technologies to boost farm yield and production, reduce losses, and optimize investment in agricultural operations.

The introduction of electric tractors aligns with Rwanda’s commitment to green initiatives and its pursuit of the climate objectives outlined in the Paris Agreement. These tractors operate on clean energy sources, such as solar power, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution associated with traditional diesel-powered machinery. Additionally, the use of electric tractors creates a quieter and healthier working environment for farmers.

Martina Biene, Chairperson and Managing Director of Volkswagen South Africa, emphasized the significance of local assembly for Volkswagen electric tractors in Rwanda. This partnership not only fosters technological innovation and economic growth but also strengthens the local manufacturing sector, creates employment opportunities, and enhances skills development.

Furthermore, the adoption of electric tractors aligns with Rwanda’s broader agenda of promoting electric vehicles and renewable energy. The country aims to become a hub for sustainable technologies and a pioneer in the African green economy. Through this initiative, Rwanda hopes to inspire other nations to embrace similar advancements in agriculture and sustainable practices.

The partnership between Rwanda and Volkswagen represents a transformative step towards a greener and more efficient agricultural sector. By leveraging the benefits of electric tractors, Rwanda is set to revolutionize farming practices, improve productivity, and contribute to a more sustainable future for its farmers and the environment.

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