Official kick-off “SMART” Horticulture project during trade mission Rwanda

On November 12th, the official kick-off of project SMART (also referred to as SMASH - Smart Adaptive Sustainable Horticulture) in Rwanda was launched. The kick-off of this project is part of the economic mission to Rwanda, led by Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Minister Ploumen. The aim of this project is to enable farmers in Rwanda to develop a sustainable and profitable business where productivity and food-safety are key. By combining Dutch technology and expertise with local expertise of farmers and knowledge of institutes, both parties see a clear win-win-situation.

During the trade mission to Rwanda, Minister Ploumen stated the importance of the cooperation of Dutch suppliers, such as Bosman Van Zaal and Hoogendoorn with local entrepreneurs of small-scale farms in Rwanda. SMART has projects in South Africa and Rwanda, focusing on different types of technological solutions for as well large, mid as small-scale companies. Small-scale farm Rwanda Best is project partner in Rwanda. The project is co-financed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Project partners greenhouse constructor Bosman Van Zaal and automation supplier Hoogendoorn Growth Management will realize the greenhouse.

Applicable technology for small-scale farms

SMART uses technological solutions to increase productivity and food safety in the horticulture industry. Unique about this project managed by Greenport Holland International, is its focus on small-scale local farmers in Rwanda. A pilot greenhouse will be built at Rwanda Best.

The project is implemented in collaboration with Dutch leading companies greenhouse constructor Bosman Van Zaal and automation supplier Hoogendoorn. With Dutch advanced technology of Hoogendoorn and Bosman Van Zaal, fitted to local conditions, a huge contribution to a sustainable and food-safe production is delivered. Other companies involved in this project are DLV Plant, RijkZwaan, Koppert and knowledge institutes Wageningen University and Research Centre, TNO and Bopic (ngo). The project makes horticulture technologies affordable and applicable for innovative farmers in Rwanda.

Official kick-off SMART project

During the trade mission a field visit to Rwanda Best took place. Owner of Rwanda Best, Jean Claude Ruzibiza and Deputy Director General for International Cooperation at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands officially opened the project by revealing the project board. Representatives of all SMART Horticulture partners were present during the kick-off.

From Ruzibiza’s point of view, the added value for Rwanda as small country, is to maximize the production per square meter and control quality and production costs at the same time. ’By introducing new technology that positively impacts the quality and quantity of vegetable production, the SMART horticulture project at Rwanda Best highly contributes to the developments of horticulture in Rwanda. Rwanda Best has the vision to establish a knowledge transfer centre with the use of Dutch expertise. The demonstration farm will be a centre of excellence, which enables me to show the community what can be done in horticulture.’

About Rwanda Best

Rwanda Best is a great project partner due to its strong focus on maintaining healthy and hygienic production. Rwanda Best was established in 1996 on a small-scale as a poultry farm and has expanded its activities in agriculture. Owner Jean Claude Ruzibiza’s mission is to produce high quality products: tasty and incredibly fresh vegetables. Clients include high class hotels and divers distributors across the country.

Horticulture in Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the 15 partner countries with which the Dutch government has a long-term bilateral aid relationship. According to the World Bank, Rwanda’s expected economic growth is 6.6% in 2015. Horticulture has a huge potential for gains in Rwanda. The country has a favourable natural climatic conditions. With sustainable projects such as SMART, the private sector in Rwanda’s horticulture can continue to grow, giving small-scale farmers access to innovative technologies suitable for their farm.

For further information
Hoogendoorn Growth Management
Maha Benachir
T: +31 (0)10 460 80 33

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