The official kick-off of project SMART (also referred to as SMASH - Smart Adaptive Sustainable Horticulture) in Rwanda was launched on 12 November. The aim of this project is to enable farmers in Rwanda to develop a sustainable and profitable business where productivity and food-safety are the key.

The official kick-off was part of the economic mission to Rwanda, led by Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen. Both parties think that by combining Dutch technology and expertise with the local know-how of farmers and knowledge of institutes, the project will be a success.

Project partners greenhouse constructor, Bosman Van Zaal, and automation supplier, Hoogendoorn Growth Management, are going to build a pilot greenhouse for the project. The small-scale farm, Rwanda Best, is the project partner in Rwanda.

The focus on small-scale farmers in Rwanda is a unique factor of this project which is coordinated by Greenport Holland International. Other companies involved in this project are Koppert Biological Systems, DLV Plant, Rijkzwaan, and knowledge institutes such as Wageningen University and Reseach Centre, TNO and Bopic (NGO). Koppert is responsible for the set-up of an integrated pest and disease management program on the farm. The project makes horticulture technologies affordable and applicable for innovative farmers in Rwanda.

The representatives of all SMART horticulture partners were present during the kick-off. The project was officially opened by the Owner of Rwanda Best, Jean Ruzibiza and Deputy Director General for International Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. SMART has projects in South-Africa and Rwanda.

For more information:
Koppert Biological Systems