New Project to Link Farmers to Market (LIFAM) Launched in Musanze

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The Private Sector Federation (PSF) has launched a project which will help farmers get entrepreneurship skills and appropriate market for their produce in Rwanda and abroad.

The project dubbed "Linking Farmers to Market" was launched on Friday in Musanze District. Officials from PSF said the project seeks to address situations where farmers get stuck with their produce due to lack of information on where to sell.

It will also increase their knowledge in post harvesting among other challenges. "This project will improve farmers’ activities, production and build farmers’ capacity. The project will therefore ensure that farmers take agriculture and livestock as other businesses. We want it to be an economy driven and strengthened to enrich farmers and the country as a whole," said Hannington Namara, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PSF.

He added that the project was a result of research which revealed that much of farmers’ yields did not reach the market place and therefore there was less gain to farmers.

Five million Euros (Rfw4 billion) has been injected in the project for the next four years. It’s meant for creating awareness among farmers, training in entrepreneurship, market sourcing and developing market oriented farming.

The project was supported by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rwanda. According to Jean Munyemana, chief of Chamber of Rwanda Farmers in PSF, the project will improve farmers’ wellbeing and speed up EDPRS2.

"We want this project to help professionalise farming. Farmers should not regard their work as a subsidiary activity but as a business. Farmers should be self reliant in future, their produce should each market and generate more money," said Munyemana The chamber of farmers has over 610 cooperatives under 16 associations. Esther Van Damme, first secretary economic development at the Kingdom of Netherlands embassy urged the chamber to keep advocating for farmers, adding that PSF should be more responsible for the economic growth of the country.

"One of our projects is to improve quality and we support agribusiness in Rwanda as we support other projects such as infrastructure," she said.

Association representatives welcomed the project, saying it was timely and will help them get skills and access markets.