Experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have inked a new deal with local researchers to help increase agricultural productivity through improved environmental conservation.
According to the deal, Chinese researchers will join their colleagues at the University of Lay Adventists of Kigali (UNILAK), to conduct a study on how Rwanda can protect the agriculture ecosystem against the effects of climate change.
This joint research project on soil and water conservation is designed to help Rwanda improve its production capacity and boost food security, said, Dr. Jean Ngamije, the UNILAK Vice Chancellor.
Findings from the five-year research project are expected to provide scientific evidence, technology support and demonstration projects to improve livelihoods by building climate resilience and restoring and conserving key ecosystems in developing countries.
Speaking at the 'Joint Symposium on Soil and Water Conservation and High Yield and Efficiency Agriculture in the Headwater of Nile, yesterday, Ngamije, added that the idea is to come up with mechanisms that will help improve water and soil conservation to boost agricultural production.
"Soil degradation is largely attributed to human factors; the partnership therefore is designed to help increase awareness... we will establish strategies that will help conserve the environment and at the same time increase productivity in the agriculture sector, he said."
According to Francois Xavier Nshimiyimana, a Kigali based agronomist, soil degradation is poised to affect Rwanda's crop production if not addressed urgently.
"However, farmers must understand that they must play a key role in terms of conserving the environment and thus embrace modern farming technologies," he added.
The research project on soil and water conservation started in 2016 and is expected to be finalized in 2020 with the results set to come up with solutions that would contribute in fighting soil degradation towards highly productive and effective agriculture in Rwanda.
According, to Dr. Li Fadong, a researcher from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research at Chinese Academy of Sciences, "both China and Rwanda will share experiences and expertise to be able to address the challenge sustainably.