Eric MAVARUGANDA is passionate about rural areas with major concern about agricultural development in Africa. He is convinced that rural areas can be attractive even more than urban centers. Therefore he created an organization in Burundi gathering rural youth : the JRCPF (la jeunesse rurale en action contre la pauvreté et la faim) : the rural youth in action against poverty and hunger, in order to tackle issues of rural population. This initiative was born just after he finished his studies at the university in communications for development sciences.
According to Eric, farmers communities majors issues are poverty and hunger. He thus wants to galvanize the strength of the majority of the African population, often neglected by some development programmes, namely: young rural people. His actions backbone is the restauration of the green revolution and the re-dynamisation of the agricultural sector. Indeed, according to him, the inaccurate image of agriculture as an activity for the poor must be changed and replaced by the idea of agriculture as a sector full of opportunities for the youth.
Eric cannot make sense of the fact that while 90% of the population is involved in farming activities in Burundi, there is food insufficiency and strong nutrition insecurity. Therefore, he runs large campaigns of lobbying and statements for agricultural mechanization, agricultural credits and subsidies in order to support agro-entrepreneurs in case of selling or climate related issues, in order to scale up agricultural development.
This contributes to change the image of agriculture, from a laborious activity with no productivity to a noble job full of hopes for rural youth and contributing to slow down rural exodus by transforming agriculture as a boost in the value chain and a space for employment creation.
The strategy he wants to build is based on creating and strengthening cooperative of agro-pastoral production, make young generation appreciate farming at early stages through creation of clubs of young producers, push agricultural research towards solutions that address agricultural challenges on the ground since it is quite meaningless to see agronomy engineers to end their studies with no direct experience of the farm in Africa.
African agriculture needs innovation et agricultural technologies in order to adapt to farmers needs in order to enable farm-entreprises to feed 7 milliards of humans and thus make rural areas attractive and eliminate hunger from Africa, he says.
Welcome, Eric. We know your strong implication et we are delighted to count you amoung YPARD team.