Stakeholders meet to share ideas, experience and best practices in promoting circular economy in agro-food sector in Rwanda

The first Multistakeholder platform meeting for Circular Food Systems for Rwanda project was held on Tuesday 20th June 2023 in Kigali, with the aim to institutionalize stronger collaboration to exchange ideas, knowledge and best practices for promotion of circular economy in the agri-food sector in Rwanda.

The forum brought together a diverse group of stakeholders including policy makers, the private sector, development partners, research institutions and civil society organizations with an interest in circular economy and food systems transformation in Rwanda.

The multistakeholder platform is part of the Circular Food Systems for Rwanda project which is being implemented through a partnership between the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA), the Cleaner Production and Climate Innovation Centre (CPCIC), the World Resources Institute (WRI), the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) Secretariat, Resonance, African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA) and African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) and supported by the IKEA Foundation.

The platform is co-chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources and the Ministry of Environment and the meetings will be convening on a quarterly basis.

In a circular economy for food, food should be produced in ways that regenerate nature, food should not be lost or wasted and the commonly wasted resources should be used productively.

According to the Dr. Patrick Karangwa, the Director General of agriculture modernization at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, who also co-chairs the platform, the endorsement of circular economy worldwide would enable fast achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially Sustainable Development Goal 2 - which is about is about creating a world free of hunger by 2030.

The Director General of land, water and forestry at the Ministry of Environment Mr. Kwitonda Philippe, who is also the co-chair of the platform made a reminder that no waste should be wasted. “This forum is a great opportunity to share ideas and experience of how we can integrate circular economy principles to minimize waste along the whole food production value chain” he added.

For the implementation of the circular food systems for Rwanda project, the multistakeholder platform is interlinked with the SME Development Fund which will provide technical assistance to agri-food Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Rwanda to improve their ability to utilize and scale circular business models.

It is estimated that roughly one-third of food produced globally is lost or wasted, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year while 800 million people worldwide don’t have enough to eat. Building a circular economy for food will be crucial to supporting the world’s growing population expected at 9.7 billion people by 2050.