Rwanda’s agriculture sector contributes around a third of the country’s GDP and employs around 58% of the country’s working population. In the second quarter 2021, the sector contributed 27 percent to GDP second to Services Sector.
Despite this, the sector has been limping in terms of adaptation of technology compared to other sectors; moreover the youths’ participation has been low, impacting its production.
But experts are revealing that young innovators are picking interest in the sector, something that is likely to uncover the millions of opportunities that will attract more investments.
“Young innovators are showing their part in linking rural farmers with the market especially to explore millions opportunities and maintain food security,” Norman Mugisha, Founder of Afri-Farmers Market Social Enterprises said.
Currently, Afri-Farmers Market Social Enterprises supports more than 1500 youth in agriculture.
During a virtual conference to celebrate the International Youth Day, Jackson Muheto, the founder and Chairperson of Better Future for Generations, noted the need for more young people join agriculture especially in agri- business.
The event connected more than 50 young leaders from different counties including Rwanda.
This year, the celebration was under the theme:”Transforming food system: Youth innovation for human and planetary Health.”
Rwanda, in its efforts to leapfrog the economy to knowledge based by 2030, implemented the smart agriculture initiative which has seen more tech driven solutions introduced to boost the sector’s modernization.
“We are encouraging more youth to venture into agriculture, as the sector has huge potential for business opportunities with high returns for themselves and the rest of the population.” Dr. Octave Semwaga, Director General in charge of strategic planning and programs coordination earlier said.
Clemence Akimana from Musanze district, expressed the need for seed capital to tech startups in the agriculture sector to help young people bring to reality their technology projects.
The conference also highlighted the growing wealth gap between the rich and the poor, where most young people fall in the latter thus hampering economic growth.
According to Oxfam, 1% of the world richest took 82% of the new wealth created in the year in 2017, which implies growth will happen but benefiting only 1 % who nearly 50% of the world wealth, whereas 85 richest people in the world have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest as shown by Forbes 2014.