A Kenyan company involved in tree and fruit seedlings is offering its seedlings and training services to over 500 Rwandsese farmers in a move that has not only increased acreage under tree planting in Rwanda but reinforced agricultural intergration between Kenya and Rwanda.
Aberdares Technologies Limited (ATL) located in Murang'a is involved is involved in the planting and propagation of eucalyptus, sweet yellow passion, mangoes and tree seedlings, with tissue banana propagation being among its major business which is targeted at tea factories, individual farmers and companies.
The company has now moved to Rwanda where demand for new age agriculture has gone top notch and is assisting farmers not just in planting the seeds but also in best farming practices focused on environmental and soil conservation methods.
“Our company now has the largest tree nursery in Rwanda,”said Mr. Nicasio Ireri the acting business Development manager at Aberdares Technologies Ltd.
The company which started by exporting tissue banana orchards faced hiccups as the Kenyan government doesnt allow exportation of its soil leaving the company to repackage the seedlings which saw the quality of the seeds compromised.
But now in collaboration with Rwandese agro technological company Balton Rwanda Limited, Aberdares Technologies now not only runs the biggest tree nurseries in Rwanda but training farmers on best practices which include exchange visits between Kenyan farmers. “The idea is to offer a one stop solution that can assist the farmer to make the technology plus the related business leap meant to sustain operations with minimum disruptions", Kelvin Odoobo Agriculture Manager at Balton said.
"It is a winning combination for farmers since it is a solution that is designed as a market breakthrough that enables beneficiary farmers to take advantage of world class technology programmed in such a way that farmers can transition into more competitive agri-business operations using pro-poor business models that enhance sustainability and profitability", Odoobo adds.
The venture has also assisted Rwandese farmers majority who have been in the subsistence farming move to high value crops and break even in the market as they learn from their Kenyan counterparts.
This has provided an opportunity for farmers to adopt new technology such as what Balton and ATL is offering. "In the arrangement ATL provides to the beneficiary farmers clean planting material certified by Rwanda National Agricultural Exports Development Board (NEAB) while Balton bring in related technologies plus agronomic support and supervision.
“We project an 80 percent yield increment for the beneficiary farmers under this new scheme something that has potential to radically change the practice of fruit framing in Rwanda,"Paul Phumbi a seed technician from ATL says. The partnership also involves Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) technical staff who are expected to organize farmers while offering requisite advice on various aspects of fruit farming. "We have partnered with Balton in order to deepen penetration of relevant agro-technology to reach more smallholder farmers in Rwanda that the farming community needs in order to increase their yields thereby enabling them to be more competitive," Phumbi added.
Written by Dominic Wandati for African Laughter
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