Agriculture

Plants, agricultural techniques and phytotherapy

We would like to share here the reflections we have initiated around plants, phytotherapy and agricultural techniques in Rwanda.

This research group on agriculture, natural resources and local farming techniques aims to identify, capitalize and make available information on practical, local and user-friendly solutions that can be implemented using local renewable resources and the collective intelligence potential of communities to create the conditions for a dignified existence for all.

Particular attention is paid to mechanisms, practices and techniques that can enable the smallest farmers to structure themselves efficiently and produce sufficient food resources for family food and income, and that can contribute to an adequate diet while preserving the quality of soils and agro-ecosystems.

Taking into consideration that the population frequently uses traditional medicinal plants, either by self-medication or after consultation with traditional practitioners, the research group is also reflecting on these care practices, research in phytotherapy, the links between conventional and traditional medicines, and the recognition and structuring of the profession of traditional practitioner.

This focus group undertook :

⇨ to draw up a list of endemic, naturalized, cultivated and arable plant resources in Rwanda and to identify their past, present and potential uses.

⇨ to identify agro-ecological practices and technical itineraries adapted to the Rwandan context that allow the intensification of food production while respecting and regenerating the environment.

⇨ to reflect on ways to set up a “farmers’” seed and seedling bank to preserve Rwandan seed diversity and redistribute these seeds to farmers.

⇨ to organize a monthly meeting in Kigali with researchers, doctors (conventional and traditional practitioners), users, farmers, members of institutions, representatives of civil society organizations, etc. on the theme of medicinal plants and phytotherapy. (These meetings are organized in partnership with the Spa Zenora Wellness Center in Kimihurura).

A website has been put online around the agricultural experimentation project led by Jean-Luc Galabert. A survey of the cultivable plants in Rwanda is available there. This site also offers a series of monographs on plants that are particularly useful in presenting their past, present and potential uses, as well as a review of studies establishing their properties and a presentation of their cultivation methods.

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