RSB and ROAM ORGANIZE AWARENESS WORKSHOP TO PROMOTE ORGANIC PRODUCTION, STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION
TODAY, November 9th, 2023 at RSB Conference Hall, Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) in partnership with Rwanda Organic Certification Movement (ROAM) organized awareness workshop that brought together all actors with interests in organic agriculture to raise awareness on organic standards, certification of products and opportunities to promote the quality of organic agriculture products traded at domestic and export markets.
The awareness workshop brought together Government institutions with mandate to promote agriculture and trade, farmers practicing organic agriculture, hotels, catering services and supermarkets, experts, researchers and others stakeholders.
Participants to the awareness workshop
Speaking at the event, Mr Murenzi Raymond, RSB Director General emphasized the role of every stakeholder and collaboration among all actors across the food value chain in assuring food security, quality and safe food products; but also attending to the needs of an increasing number of customers in need of organic products. He informed the participants that standards to promote organic agriculture were developed and harmonized at regional level and RSB has built the capacity to offer the services of training, technical assistance, testing and certification of organic products.
Mr Raymond Murenzi, DG/RSB
Ms Lise Chantal Dusabe, Chief Executive Officer of ROAM briefed participants about the progress registered in promoting organic agriculture in the country as well as challenges and opportunities available in investing in organic farming. She appreciated the partnership with RSB, Government institutions, Development Partners in Agriculture and Environment Protection and all stakeholders who have been working to support the promotion of organic agriculture in Rwanda. She called for more efforts as organic agriculture today does not only stand for trading of products at premium prices but also protecting all in the ecosystem for today and in the future.
Ms Lise Chantal Dusabe, Chief Executive Officer/ROAM
In their testimonies, farmers also have had their say about their experience and benefits of promoting organic agriculture: " We have been exporting organic dried pineapple products to European markets and we are happy with the benefits we continue to get from our efforts. We invest much efforts but our hard work is paying off with good prices at domestic and export markets” said Tuzamurane Cooperative from Kirehe District/Eastern Province.
Representative of Tuzamurane Cooperative
To add on that, Dukunde Kawa Musasa Cooperative enthused: " We started practicing organic coffee farming and after the journey of three years we got organic certification and today we export organic coffee from Rwanda to domestic, USA and European markets".
Today’s domestic and export markets have been coming up with requirements that add value to food products and thus necessitate countries to prioritize production and commercialization of high value products. Organic certification has been earmarked among other important trends that lead to the high value adding in food trade, and has been registering big attraction by investors in Agro-processing sector, hospitality and other sectors.
To enable enterprises to move up the value chain into processing, the export market requires evidence of the existence of a fully functioning and effective risk management system commonly referred to as Organic certification. This in turn requires traceability along the value chain.
Becoming organic certified helps producers to receive premium prices for their products, to access local, regional, and international markets, to protect natural resources, to support local economies and access additional funding and technical assistance programs. Therefore, it is paramount to improve awareness and uptake for the organic agriculture, farming, processing standards and certification for different stakeholders and the public in general as there is increasing demand for safe, quality food products complying principles of Organic agriculture, farming and processing that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, people and animal welfare.
Representative of Dukunde Kawa Musasa Cooperative
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