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Rwandan maize farmers learn to Sell More For More™

 

UPDATE: Farmers gain post-harvest management skills (New Times, June 2011)

Rwandan farmers and cooperatives are getting six weeks of training this year in post-harvest handling, grain storage and management so they can sell to larger and more reliable markets.

The Sell More For More trainings, carried out by USAID's Post-Harvest Handling and Storage Project (managed by CARANA) is part of Rwanda’s Ministry of Agriculture’s overall strategy to improve food security there by linking producers with surpluses of staple crops to markets--and reducing losses along the way. Maize farmers alone lose an estimated 30-40% of their crop after harvest.

Rwandan farmers learn post-harvest maize management (and team-building) at the Sell More for More trainings hosted by the PHHS projectRwandan farmers learn post-harvest maize management (and team-building) at the Sell More for More trainings hosted by the PHHS project

Cooperatives are an obvious vehicle to impart such information to their members. Yet the majority of maize cooperatives in Rwanda are less than five years old. Many only have volunteer boards and few paid staff. Making the leap from getting organized to actually making money is significant

These trainings are explaining technical and business practices in post-harvest handling, storage and management to the leadership of 24 maize cooperatives--as well as many of their participating farmers. By improving business practices and introducing quality-enhancing techniques, farmers are able to sell to clients like the World Food Programs Purchase for Progress (P4P) program.

At the January 17 training launch, Evariste Kaberuka, president of the Ibyizabiri Mbere Cooperative, said, “I was particularly pleased with the cooperative leadership development we completed. I am optimistic to see that from these workshops the cooperatives are going to increase production and sales.”

USAID/Rwanda's mission director also attended the launch, observing afterward, “I was struck by the eagerness of the farm leaders to apply business principles to farming. Farmers and cooperatives are working together to better dry and store their crops." Dennis Weller added, "This training of lead farmers--men and women--is a good demonstration of how the U.S. is working under the Feed the Future initiative to accomplish greater food security for Rwanda.”

*Sell More for More™ is a trademark of ACDI/VOCA

Press coverage

Farmers learn post-harvest skills - New Times (Kigali)

Published February 2011