From 11 – 13 December 2019, the Director General of the Rwandan Agriculture Board (RAB) visited the Netherlands for meetings with Wageningen UR on joint research applications and to meet and discuss with the Dutch seed potato sector in an attempt to increase their interest in investing in Rwanda and which steps Rwanda could take to attract more investors in the potato sector.
During the stay, the following research areas were identified as potentially viable for joint applications:
- Increased market access for agricultural and horticultural products, e.g., through better inherent quality characteristics of produce and lower levels of chemical residues.
- Increased yields, through improved soil quality and fertility, crop nutrition, better rotation schemes, IPM, and breeding for local adaptation.
- Crop breeding, in particular modern breeding techniques
- Climate resilience
- Capacity strengthening
- Food systems (WUR takes a systems approach for all problems)
Wageningen UR will continue to develop an action plan for cooperation, which will be further discussed upon early 2020.
During the visit, the DG signed an MOU with Solynta where both parties commit themselves to work together for the further development of True Potato Seed in Rwanda. Solynta has the ambition to release its first variety ever in Rwanda in 2021, and will start performance trials together with RAB in 2020 to achieve this ambition.