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Meet three youth in the Eastern province reaping from watermelon farming

The difficulty of finding a job in Rwanda has seen many young people pursuing opportunities in agribusiness instead of spending many years looking for employment. Three Rwandan youngsters; Gloria Mutuzo, Abdul Muvunyi and Parfait Kalisa are one of the youths who did not wait for a white color job and ventured into agriculture. Unlike their peers, who shun farming, the three followed their passion as farming ran through their family mainstream.

Iwacu Modern Farm led by these three started with chili farming where they faced challenges and later ventured into watermelon farming early 2019 which is currently successful.

How the project started.

Muvunyi Abdlaman, the Project Manager of Iwacu Modern Farm told RYAF Communication Team that the first project they started was in chili farming in Bugesera district. Unfortunately, their farm wasn’t successful due to the lack of enough water in that area, which later forced them into watermelon farming after learning about the high demand of the crop in Rwanda and beyond.

“The first step to producing watermelon is to choose the variety you want to grow and proper preparation of the seed beds. One has to meticulously follow the laid down procedures of planting the crop which is quite rigorous,” said Muvunyi. For their case, they had to contract an agronomist who advised them to first carry out a soil test on the farm before embarking on the actual planting. After the soil test, it was discovered it had an accumulated amount of acidity which they neutralized with agricultural lime.

According to Gloria Mutuzo, a 22 young Agronomist and Marketing Manager, the farm started with initial capital of Rwf 1 Million. “We were motivated by the success of other young entrepreneurs in agriculture on how their lives were transformed.  Today, we are so far enjoying our production where the first sell earned us Rwf 2 million. Despite some challenges in their first harvest, Iwacu Modern Farm fetched a profitable amount from watermelon which  they had planted on half an acre. This, she says, motivated them to invest more in the crop.

Gloria advised young people to follow their passion, be prayerful, be committed to work and exercise patience as it takes some time to recoup investment back as it is business like any other. She also added that if one is interested in farming, they can begin from their parent’s land at home, do something on the farm and it will earn them some cash as they wait for their dream job. She said, “since people need to eat every day, farmers are unlikely to lack customers.”

Iwacu Modern Farm is an Agribusiness company based in Mwurire sector, Rwamagana district, established in February 2019 with mission to grow more quality horticultural food with less water and smarter cleaner processes to keep up with the rising food demands generated by population grow. They are envisioning to become the leading producer processor and exporter of horticultural products. 

RYAF Communication Team

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