The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth Project (PSDAG), officially launched its partnership with Holland Green Tech (HGT), a Rwanda-registered company with regional operations in Uganda and Zambia.
The partnership was launched in Bugesera District this Wednesday, 25 July 2018, in which Holland Greentech received a RWF 89million grant from USAID
The funding will be used to increase the supply of improved inputs for smallholder farmers by scaling up its vegetable demonstrations and by organizing 80 Farmer Field Days (FFD) at 40 demonstration sites targeted at farmers producing for high value markets.
The firm specializes in sales of agricultural equipment, inputs, soil testing services and provides technical support and training to small holder farmers.
HGT is investing in scaling up its farmer outreach in 8 districts through demonstration sites linked to premium buyers such as Nature Fresh,BRAMIN, and GET IT.
USAID support to HGT will help the company to establish 8 shed nets (80m2 each) and 80 drip irrigation kits (100m2) at demonstration sites used for extension and by demonstrating best practices in quality horticulture production and quality management.
Through this partnership, Holland GreenTech is set to train 4,000 farmers who will acquire skills, through hands on training, to improve agricultural sector productivity and food security.
The investments made by Holland green Tech with USAID support have increased the company’s coverage of horticulture farming from 2 Ha of demonstration plots to 8Ha utilizing improved technologies and best management practices.
In addition, expansion of HGT’s operations has helped 10 farmers to access new markets selling fresh produce to hotels and local exporting companies.
To date, HGT has equipped 350 farmers with improved knowledge and created 56 entrepreneurship opportunities for youth agro-dealers who will support the growth of HGT’s business under a cost effective model.
Epimaque Nsanzabaganwa, the head of horticulture division at National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB), said that this center aimed to improve the technologies of horticulture activity in Rwanda through using of sheds in agriculture and irrigation program.
“This center created not only their interest, but the one of different farmers from Rwanda through Farmer Field Days (FFD) program.
“We support this innovation, NAEB and the Ministry of agriculture and animal resources, because it helps to improve the quantity and quality of what we export in horticulture. So we need so many investors in that field. He added.
This private sector driven model should be able to scale up to more farmers as sales increase and buyers’ demand increases.
“We used to grow our fruits and vegetables randomly, targeting local markets and most of times we couldn’t even find buyers. Working with Holland Greentech did not only enrich our farming knowhow but also provided us a market assurance, as today they connect us with potential markets for our produce” says Robert Patrick Mwiseneza, a representative of farmers.
Through the fiscal year 2017-2018, about $200 million were generated from horticulture.