RAB Meets Lime Value Chain Actors

November,4th - 5th,2021: Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) through the project entitled: “Guiding Acid Soil Management Investments in Africa (GAIA)” funded by Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation (BMGF) through the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), held a stakeholder round table consultative meeting on the lime value chain analysis at Nobleza Hotel, Kigali.

The meeting convened different actors in the lime value chain that are grouped into the category of Policy, research and advocacy institutions, quarrying, crushers, suppliers, project-based distributors, extensionists from public and private institutions,and agro-dealers.  

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss and understand incentives to adopt acid soil management technologies and investigate alternative approaches to stimulate awareness/adoption of these technologies along the lime value chain.

Opening the meeting, Dr. Charles Bucagu, the Deputy Director General in charge of Agriculture Development, stressed the importance of lime in improving crop productivity especially in acid soils. He pointed out the promotion of lime grade 1 as new model of lime use in the agrodealership in the country.

The DDG highlighted the main activities to carry out under GAIA project such as increasing the level of awareness on the use of lime by establishing farm demonstrations, providing trainings to the lime actors and creating Smart Nkunganire to allow the information sharing among the actors. He underlined that the budget allocated to lime by the government should be justified by the investment outcome.

Dr. Vicky Ruganzu, the Principal Investigator of GAIA project presented the background and status of acidic soils and current interventions for their management. This presentation was followed by organizing and performing key informant interview and Focus Group Discussion with participants to gather information from lime actors in line with constraints, opportunities, and interventions to address identified challenges as well as strategies to optimize benefits from investment in lime. 

The main issue that came out from this consultation was the low level of farmer’s awareness regarding the role and importance of agricultural lime. Finally, several interventions were proposed that include organizing awareness campaign for lime use, establishing demonstrations on field and creation of a platform on lime and put in place a steering committee that will help to regularly exchange information, assess and monitor different interventions.