Stakeholders meet to discuss on the role of data for circular food systems transformation advocacy

Members of the multistakeholder platform for Circular Food Syetems for Rwanda project have, on Friday 15th December 2023, met for the 3rd multistakeholder platform meeting and discussed on the role of policy research and data to advocate for improved circular food systems in Rwanda and how data-driven advocacy contributes to a more efficient use of resources in the food systems value chain.

The platform meeting brought together a diverse group of stakeholders including policy makers, the private sector, development partners, civil society organizations and academia to exchange ideas, knowledge, experience and best practices for circular food systems transformation in the country.

The multistakeholder platform was set as part of the Circular Food Systems for Rwanda project to enhance policy and stakeholder engagement for creation of stronger enabling environment for food systems transformation in Rwanda.

Some of the research works and papers presented during the meeting include the experience of partners such as RUNRES in improving city region food system resilience, the role of Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) in tackling Food Loss and Waste in Rwanda and the evaluation of the application of the circular production model in agriculture with a case study of Nyanza district, Southern Province.

Participants also discussed on the preliminary findings of the research on food loss and waste being conducted by World Resources Institute under Circular Food Systems for Rwanda project and the draft policy brief on circular food systems standards and conformity assessment in Rwanda which is under development.

Members of the multi-stakeholder platform constitute a pool of experts on circular economy for food and are considered as catalysts of change for circular food systems transformation in their respective areas of work and sectors of operation. 

Speaking at the event, Dr. Patrick Karangwa, the Director General of agriculture modernization at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources who is also the co-chair of the multistakeholder platform said that promoting circular economy for food systems involves producing food in a way that regenerates nature, reducing food loss and waste and re-using food wastes as resources. “We all need to be agents of change to achieve this; and data is very key for this transformative journey”, he added.

The multistakeholder platform for circular food systems for Rwanda project is managed by the Cleaner Production and Climate Innovation Centre, a local partner from the Rwanda Government side for the implementation of this three-year project.

The Circular Food Systems for Rwanda project is being implemented through a collaboration between national, regional and global partners namely the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) through the Cleaner Production and Climate Innovation Centre (CPCIC) in Rwanda, the World Resources Institute (WRI), the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) Secretariat, Resonance, African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA), African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) and is supported by the IKEA Foundation.

The multistakeholder platform meeting convenes every quarter. The previous meeting was held in September 2023 and discussed on market access, standards and certification processes for circular food products.  The next platform meeting is expected to convene by March 2024.