By: Christophe Hitayezu
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda through the Rwandan Development Board (RDB) have launched the e-Commerce project to promote online trading for agricultural products.
The 2 year project will provide technical support to the local business people and farmers in the implementation of the Smart Rwanda Master Plan and Made in Rwanda Policy, which underpins the current transformational agenda of the country.
The FAO representative in Rwanda, Gualbert Gbehounou, said the project will show potentials in the internet commerce taking advantage of opportunities like the Rwanda-Alibaba partnership.
This is a project on online commerce or internet commerce. You are aware that Rwanda has signed an agreement with Alibaba, the Chinese online trading platform. So this project is timely to help Rwanda to get ready internally to take advantage of this agreement that the country signed with Alibaba. This is just an example I gave to show the importance of this project,”he noted.
Meanwhile, Mr. Patrick Ngabonziza working with eMall, an online shopping platform in Kigali, said Rwandans are yet to embrace the culture of buying or selling online. “People in Rwanda are yet to believe in online products, they think we are conman. So, the government should help us in raising awareness to change citizen’s mindset,” he said.
Birasa Nyamulinda, RDB officer in charge of Agriculture investment emphasized on the need to embrace the technology as the global economy landscape changes rapidly.
Most in our government, do a lot of investment in production, but the other component of the supply chain, especially when it comes to marketing, it’s not well developed. And we know very well, if you can enhance capacity building of different actors in supply chain, in terms of building how they are interconnected, this will help a lot,” said.he said
This project will engage the Private Sector, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, among others, to develop a coherent strategy and a platforms.
Specifically, the project will strengthen the capacity and skills development of trading stakeholders, farmers and local suppliers in the agriculture value chains; promote e-Commerce development based on digital skills gap, in order, to link local suppliers with big buyers such as big hotels and supermarket importing agricultural produce; develop the e-Commerce strategy; and raise community awareness on the use of digital commerce tools in agricultural value chains.