The Rwanda Organic Agriculture Movement (ROAM) in collaboration with Rwanda Ministry of
Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) officially launched the EOA-I National Platform for Rwanda on 9 th August at Grand Legacy Hotel Rwanda in a ceremony that attracted 35 stakeholders from various organic sectors in Rwanda.
Among other key stakeholders in attendance were various Governmental institutions among them the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MINAFFET), the
Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) and National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB). Private sectors were represented by the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) and the City of Kigali. Some of the key learning institutions that attended were the University of Technology and Arts of Byumba (UTAB). Other delegates included the French Embassy, a delegation of the European Union to Rwanda, Action Aid, Regional Research Center for Integrated Development (RCID Ltd), Gardens for Health International, Horizon-AGROPY Ltd, Horizon-SOPYRWA, PELUM RWANDA, APPE/ESAFF Rwanda, SORWATHE, Cooperatives of organic tea growers among them ASSOPTHE, Hillside Organic Tea Cooperative and the HUMURA Training Center.
The Cooperatives of organic pineapple growers were represented by TUZAMURANE and Promoting Organic and Sustainable Agriculture in Africa (POSADA). Other organic stakeholders came from VI Agroforestry, HUGUKA-Radio (Agriculture extension media), the Meghan Nimwiza and Miss Rwanda 2019 whose project is on Youth involvement in Agriculture.
In attendance was Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) representatives comprising of Dr. David Amudavi the Executive Director and Ms. Venancia Wambua the EOA-I Project Manager. BvAT attended the workshop as the Executing Agency for Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative under funding support from Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC).
In her welcoming remarks, the ROAM CEO Madam Lise Chantal Dusabe welcomed the stakeholders to the workshop and explained more about ROAM, the history, its key areas of operations and its mandate as a national umbrella organization which provides leadership and professional advisory services to all stakeholders in the organic agriculture sector in Rwanda. Opening remarks were done by Mr. Innocent Bisangwa the representative from the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI). He thanked ROAM and all the EOA-I partners for the great commitment of promoting EOA in Rwanda. In his highlights, he mentioned the ongoing lobbing for Organic Agriculture Policy in East Africa adding that MINAGRI is willing to support the development of an Organic Agriculture policy in Rwanda.
Overview of the EOA-I Project Phase I was presented by Ms. Venancia Wambua on the progress made in the 8 African countries of implementation namely: Kenya, on the progress made in the Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Senegal, Benin, Mali, and Nigeria, She explained more about its implementation and said that countries have made a remarkable progress on including Organic Agriculture practices and policies in their national Agricultural Systems pointing out a case of Uganda where the National Organic Policy had been recently passed.
Dr David Amudavi introduced the new Phase 2 of EOA Initiative Project where he outlined the changes proposed based on experiences of Phase I, with insights from the partners’ Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA) conducted in 2017 and external evaluation conducted in 2018. He noted some key strategies of implementation as the Grants Management System, Harmonization and Synergies across Pillars, Market System Development, Robust M&E, Reporting and Learning, Capacity Building for
Efficient Project Management, Strengthening Platforms at all Levels and Tracking other EOA Related Initiatives in the Continent.
The workshop closed at 1pm with the official launch of the National Platform.
News article by Ms. Venancia Wambua, EOA-I in Africa Project Manager