Strengthening Education for Agricultural Development, a 5-year project aimed to contribute to achieving sustainable food security in Rwanda has now come to an end. SEAD supported Rwandan universities and TVET institutions to improve their education and training programmes; research and community services in agricultural production; value chain management as well as land and water management.
SEAD is a follow up of NICHE which was also funded by the Dutch Government under the ministry of foreign affairs through the Nuffic (Netherlands Initiative for Capacity development in Higher Education), the project was implemented by both Mott MacDonald and Rwanda Development Board in partnership with INES Ruhengeri, UR (CAVM, CST and CBE), Rwanda polytechnic (IPRC Gishari, IPRC Huye, IPRC Musanze, IPRC Kigali, IPRC Ngoma) and the international consortium (Delphy BV, Maastricht School of Management, Q-Point BV, SNV Netherlands Development, Stellenbosch University, Delft University of Technology and Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied sciences.)
Working in the dairy, poultry, potato, and horticultural value chains, SEAD together with its partners and stakeholders:Strengthened agriculture and curricula at University of Rwanda (UR), Integrated Polytechnic Regional Colleges (IPRC), and INES Ruhengeri with a focus on inclusiveness and labour market orientation.
Funded and supported PhD candidates from UR, INES Ruhengeri and TVET at universities in Ghana, Kenya and The Netherlands
Strengthened middle and senior management capacities at UR, IPRCs and INES Ruhengeri through the provision of Management & Leadership training
Strengthened capacities in Gender & Inclusiveness and Career Guidance at UR, IPRCs, INES Ruhengeri and for local authorities (i.e. district agronomists/veterinarians)
SEAD has trained over 100 staff from its partner institutions to be able to mainstream gender in their institutions and increase female students’ enrolment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.
Community Outreach & Extension is one of the key interventions for the SEAD project, in partnership with Higher Education Institutions and the local authorities (districts & sectors), SEAD facilitated outreach trainings to individual farmers, cooperatives and agribusinesses in the project’s value chains.
The project’s intervention around community outreach & extension facilitated the engagement of knowledge institutions with farmers. Lecturers along with agronomists were trained in delivering hands-on sessions to farmers and to improve their skills and knowledge towards changing their farming practices and, hence reaching an improved yield.
Knowledge taken from field practices, improved the education and research at the knowledge institutions and makes it more labour market oriented.
SEAD supported 31 cooperatives from the Northern, Eastern and Southern provinces to address the skills and knowledge constraints that limit the quantity and quality of their agricultural production and competitiveness.
More than 10 000 farmers from these cooperatives benefit from the trainings facilitated by the SEAD project. Also, in partnership with partner institutions, SEAD developed training materials, approved & validated by the authorities, in Kinyarwanda, that are distributed to farmers and extension officers.
SEAD supported senior researchers from UR, IPRC and INES Ruhengeri together with private sector and local authorities to conduct applied research that brings solutions to agricultural challenges in the project’s values chains.
Over 30 multidisciplinary teams from UR, INES Ruhengeri and IPRCs are taken through several research phases, to arrive at solutions that are communicated to the sector. The research is practical and helps to bring solutions to agriculture challenges.
Also, SEAD Project together with its partners is now in the progress of establishing service training and innovation centres (STICs). These centres are expected to empower the colleges to create important university exchange platforms in the region.
All these achievements wouldn’t have been achieved without the support and collaboration from our partners, stakeholders, and beneficiaries. The SEAD project take this opportunity to appreciate all the above-mentioned partners, your contribution made an impact to sustain food security in Rwanda. Together we did it!!