Rwanda

Last updated: January 2019
  • Region Eastern and Southern Africa
  • UPOV membership status Member of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO); initiated the procedure for acceding to the UPOV Convention
  • Participation in OECD Seed Schemes No
  • ISTA accredited member laboratories No
  • GM crop approval for cultivation No
  • Law on Plant Variety Protection Law Governing Seeds and Plant Varieties in Rwanda (2016)
Seed sector in Rwanda

According to a 2009 Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) baseline study, adoption of improved varieties is relatively low (7%–13%) across Rwanda, where the informal seed sector dominates agriculture. Adoption has likely increased since this study was conducted, but it remains low across all crops in Rwanda, except for hybrid maize.

The Rwanda Agriculture Board is responsible for producing breeder and pre-basic seeds. For the main economic crops, such as maize, beans, rice, wheat, the Crop Intensification Program was introduced in 2007 to mobilize small farmers, using improved inputs (seeds and fertilizers), access to capacity building programs, and credits, while embracing land consolidated schemes for commercial production.

Although Rwanda depends on seed imports, the regulatory principles of the UPOV and Breeders’ Rights are quite new in Rwanda and were only recently introduced under newly introduced seed regulations. Intellectual property protection law governs intellectual property in Rwanda.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources has officially launched the National Seed Association of Rwanda, bringing together seed traders, seed multipliers, agro-dealers and institutions that develop plant varieties and avail quality seed to farmers.

Observations

There are 13 index companies operating in Rwanda. Globally active Advanta has a testing location, while regional players East African Seed, Seed Co and Victoria Seeds report a wider range of activities. These three companies have seed production locations and carry out extension services for smallholder farmers. Seed Co recently carried out successful first-year product evaluations for wheat, and it employs two technical staff for training. East African Seed (field crops and vegetables) and Victoria Seeds (field crops) both engage smallholder farmers in production, while the latter is the only company with a processing location.

None of the 13 companies breed in Rwanda.

Index company activities identified in Rwanda
Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Companies selected for
the Access to Seeds Index
Field
crops
Vegetables Breeding
location
Testing
location
Seed
production
Processing
location
Sales Extension
services
Advanta
Corteva Agriscience
East African Seed  *
East-West Seed
Kenya Highland Seed
Kenya Seed Company
Pop Vriend Seeds
Rijk Zwaan
Sakata
Seed Co
Syngenta
Victoria Seeds  *
  • * * Company involves smallholder farmers in seed production activities

Other index companies are also active in the country. However, country-specific information for these companies is not available or was provided under a non-disclosure agreement.

Other companies identified in the regional landscaping study and their activities

Company Crops in portfolio Company activities in country
Field
crops
Vegetable
crops
Breeding
location
Seed
production
Sales
Tubura Seed