Rwanda has a growing seed industry which has registered notable improvements over the last ten years. The country currently has 15 private seed companies (local and foreign) that are active in seed production and/or marketing. The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) has recently recommended 81 varieties of crops for release and commercialization. In 2016, government passed a new law governing seeds and plant varieties in Rwanda (Law No 005/2016 of 05/04/2016) along with the supporting Ministerial Orders, which govern the law’s implementation.

These are just a few of the findings from the recently completed TASAI Rwanda Country Study, which was presented to a wide range of seed industry stakeholders in a meeting hosted in Kigali by TASAI, along with development partner the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), on 17th July 2019. The meeting, which brought together close to 50 participants from the private and public sectors, was officially opened by MINAGRI Permanent Secretary Jean Claude MUSABYIMANA. Following the presentation by the TASAI team, MINAGRI’s presentation highlighted the key challenges facing Rwanda’s seed sector and strategies deployed to meet them. In addition, the Rwanda Agricultural Board described the status of plant breeding and variety development in the country and pointed to existing linkages between RAB and the seed producers. In an effort to share lessons from the region, the Executive Officer of the Seed Trade Association of Kenya shared his country’s experiences about managing a national seed trade association and ideas about how seed trade associations can engage government and represent the private sector more effectively. Finally, the Managing Director of Dryland Seed Limited (Kenya) provided the perspective of a locally owned private seed company, discussing topics such as the acquisition and maintenance of basic seed, seed production with contract out-growers, variety registration and release, and seed marketing and distribution through agro-dealers.