RWANDA: Day 4 – Agriculture & the US Embassy
My last post was long, but I hope interesting! This one is comparatively short.
We started with a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Kalibata, followed by visits to some of their agricultural projects.
Our first stop was to a recipient of the One Cow One Family project. The Project works in two steps: First, a poor family receives a free cow. Second, when the initial cow reproduces, the first female calf is given to a neighbor who passes on a female calf to another neighbor, and so on.
The cows are so important because the milk can be used for food or market, the manure to fertilize plants, and any children (after the first female) can be sold or kept.
This wonderful lady received a cow in 2007. She is a widow, HIV+, had a large family to take care of and was deep in poverty. She qualified for a cow and since then the cow birthed 5 more cows. As per the program one cow was “paid forward” to another family and the other cows were used for milk and eventually sold.
Now she has a male and female cow and a new 1-month-old baby! She has constructed a series of houses, hired workers, started a small farm, and is no longer in poverty. In general, she seems like one of the happiest people I’ve met.
It was a wonderful story and I’m happy to see some of Rwanda’s programs be so successful.
The second project was the Rwanda Special Economic Zone. Rwanda built an industrial area with factories, etc so that investors would not have to build everything from the ground up.
We were able to see the zone with all the new buildings and checked out the maize production facility.
We also wore some pretty amazing outfits!
Our last stop of the day was a visit to the US Embassy. Unfortunately, they don’t allow photos. However, it was interesting to hear about some of their projects with the Rwandan government, including the change-over to English, and their opinions on the successes and issues within Rwanda.
Till next time!