Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

23 August 2013

Rwanda: Agriculture Park Opens At Special Economic Zone

The President toured the area to assess the progress of the park, and visited projects such as a silo plant with a capacity of 20,000 metric tons, warehouses, a grain-seed processing plant and a mechanization center among others.

Addressing attendees that included leaders at various levels and farmers, President Kagame said that "Knowledge is very important but it's not enough. From knowledge, you must get something tangible, something that impacts on people's lives, that makes a difference. You cannot just be proud of having knowledge and skills, yet at the end of the day, nothing comes out of it. That doesn't make sense ".

He applauded farmers who harvest up to six tons of maize per hectare but still urged them to do better. "If it is possible that you can get between ten to fourteen tons, what would prevent you from doing so?"

He added that there are no shortcuts to get out of poverty, but that only hard work can achieve that. "We need to work, do things we know are good at and which are beneficial so we get out of the poverty. We have the means to do so, and we don't have to wait for others to come to our rescue."

Agriculture Minister Agnes Kalibata for her part said that the projects at this park will improve agricultural activities such as seeds selection, storage and processing.

Lucas Waweru Macharia, chief maintenance engineer at Minagri added that indeed selected seeds can help farmers overcome challenges such as climate change. "This park contributes to the food safety of the country and will contribute in poverty eradication," he said.

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