Rwanda Hosts National Training Workshop on Land, Soil, and Crop Information Hub
Participants during the national workshop in Kigali, Rwanda.
By Genevieve Apio
KIGALI, RWANDA: The Land, Soil, and Crop Information Services (LSC-IS) to support Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) project organised a national workshop in Rwanda from 30th November to 1st December 2023.
The workshop was hosted by Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) coordinated by the International Livestock Research Institute, as the leader of work package 4 and supported by the staff of ISRIC – World Soil Information, Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI), Wageningen Environmental Research, World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
The workshop brought together national users of LSC data hubs in the agricultural knowledge and innovation system (AKIS) in Rwanda. They were grouped into farmer representatives, development partners and non-governmental organisations, research and academia, public institutions, and private sector players.
The work is funded by the European Union’s Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA) program with co-funding from the EU and The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with a contribution from ISRIC – World Soil Information.
The opening speech was delivered by the RAB Deputy Director General in charge of Agriculture Development, Dr Florence Uwamahoro. In her opening remarks, Dr. Uwamahoro stated that the Land soil crops hub is coming at the right time because Rwanda has different types of agricultural related data, and research outputs that are out there but not known to target users. Getting all these into a credible Land Soil Crop hub will make this useful information available and accessible for decision making to scale-up improved agricultural practices.
Dr Florence Uwamahoro, RAB Deputy Director General in charge of Agriculture Development
The workshop keynote speech was delivered by Mr. Francois Uwumukiza, the Senior Policy Advisor for Economic Cooperation, of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kigali in Rwanda. In his speech, he highlighted that Rwanda is committed to advancing agriculture, the sector employs over 70% of the population of Rwandans working in agriculture.
“Our transformation journey is still long but having a functional Information hub is a first step towards farmers accessing appropriate information, and useful data for decision making. The hub requires the commitment of all relevant government officials to make sure that it is robust and functional by encouraging its use, maintaining it, and updating relevant current data regularly so that ultimately farmers are guided in the use if appropriate agronomic practices.”
Mr. Francois Uwumukiza, Senior Policy Advisor for Economic Cooperation of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kigali, Rwanda
He added: “To increase agricultural productivity and make farming profitable we need information this hub is going to provide. Because that information will make farmers more knowledgeable in growing different crop types and varieties knowing what is happening in their soils and guided by the climate information.”
During the workshop, 35 participants received hands-on training on how to access the LSC hub, and how to use the information from the LSC hub.
Workshop participants in Kigali discussing the Rwanda Land Soil Crop Hub
Objectives of the national workshop were:
- To introduce, familiarize, and train LSC information users involved in working with and benefiting from land, soil, and crop information.
- To collect feedback from LSC information users to improve the functionality and user-friendliness of the LSC hubs.