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RICA: Everything you need to know about The Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA)

The Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA) is a university located in Rwanda that is dedicated to educating a new generation of entrepreneurs in sustainable agriculture. At RICA, students are taught to be strategic thinkers and problem solvers, equipped with the communication, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills necessary for success in their careers.

RICA Summary

  • Location: Nyamata, Bugesera, Rwanda.
  • Faculties & Degrees: Bachelor of Science degree in Conservation Agriculture. with a specialty in Animal Production, Crop Production, Mechanization, or Food Processing.
  • Scholarship And Aid: Yes – Full Scholarship.
  • No of students: 500+
  • Applications: Open from 12-December-2023
  • Deadline: 12-January-2024

ACADEMICS

RICA offers a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Agriculture, a three-year, internationally-recognized program that teaches students farming, mechanization, and irrigation techniques to improve agriculture productivity. The curriculum at RICA is built on the principles of conservation agriculture and One Health, which recognizes the interconnectedness of human health, animal health, and ecosystem health. This means that RICA’s curriculum and campus are designed to teach students about these interrelationships and how to manage crop and livestock systems in a way that minimizes negative effects on human, animal, and ecosystem health. You can also choose a specialty in Animal Production, Crop Production, Mechanization, or Food Processing.

STUDENTS

RICA students also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in smallholder farming and to be exposed to six different enterprise-scale agribusinesses during their studies. This experiential approach allows students to learn and address the real-world challenges they will face in their careers. In addition, RICA students engage with local farming communities through extension education and the NASHO Irrigation Cooperative, ensuring that research is informed by local needs and knowledge is transferred to benefit local communities.

GOAL

The goal of RICA is to fuel a movement in agriculture in Rwanda and to equip its students with the knowledge and skills to create innovative solutions to the challenges facing agriculture in the country. As successful entrepreneurs and job creators, RICA’s graduates will have a significant impact on the lives of others and on the preservation of critical resources in Rwanda. RICA is a unique English-language institution that combines research, education, and extension services to support national priorities for agricultural development and train the next generation of leaders in agriculture in Rwanda.

RICA was established with the belief that conservation agriculture techniques are vital to sustainable farming, and that farming is not sustainable without the development and education of young people in the field of agriculture. Howard G. Buffett, a strong supporter of RICA, stated that “in agriculture there are some truths that span all nations.” RICA aims to equip its students with these universal truths and to provide them with a hands-on training approach that allows them to learn and address the real-world challenges they will face in their careers.

CAMPUS

RICA’s campus is custom-made for this purpose and is designed to facilitate students learning about the interrelationships between human, animal, and ecosystem health, as well as how to manage crop and livestock systems in a way that minimizes negative effects on these three areas. The campus also incorporates the principles of One Health, which aims to design and preserve the One Health landscape by integrating the built and natural environments and balancing human, ecological, and animal health.

RICA is committed to using chemical agricultural inputs responsibly and to controlling zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. The university also teaches students about the importance of water management and the need to use water resources wisely, as well as the importance of biodiversity and the need to preserve it.

ADMISSIONS

Admission Dates


ADMISSION APPLICATION OPENING AND CLOSING
Start: 12 December 2023
End: 12 January 2024

ADMISSION INTERVIEWS
March 2024

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY TEST
March 2024

ADMISSION DECISION AND SCHOLARSHIP OFFER
March 2024

ELIGIBILITY


Apply to RICA! We accept applications online until January 20, 2023 for September 2023 intake. We are looking for passionate young men and women who are ready to invest in their careers, communities, and the agricultural transformation of Rwanda. Here are the criteria to be eligible for admission:

  1. Rwandan citizen
  2. Sat for the national examination in 2022
  3. Demonstrates leadership and entrepreneurship
    potential
  4. Demonstrates passion for agriculture
  5. Demonstrates English proficiency
  6. Has a minimum national examination score of 36
  7. Has a at least 2 principal passes in national
    examination
  8. Studied any of the following subject combinations/
    trades
    • MPG – Math| Physics |Geography
    • PCM – Physics |Chemistry | Math
    • MEG –Math | Economics | Geography
    • MCE – Math | Computer Science| Economics
    • MPC – Math | Physics | Comp Science
    • MCB – Math |Chemistry | Biology
    • PCB – Physics | Chemistry |Biology
    • BCG – Biology |Chemistry | Geography
    • Animal Health
    • Food Processing
    • Crop Production
    • Forestry
    Applicants who completed secondary education
    under foreign or international education programs
    ( E.g Cambridge, International Baccalaureate etc ) are
    encouraged to apply. Holders of such qualifications
    are advised to submit an equivalence certificate issued
    by the National Examination and School Inspection
    Authority (NESA).
    All students admitted to RICA are given a full threeyear scholarship, including tuition, medical insurance,
    accommodation and meals on campus.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, RICA is a university located in Rwanda that is dedicated to educating a new generation of entrepreneurs in sustainable agriculture. The curriculum at RICA is built on the principles of conservation agriculture and One Health and emphasizes the importance of communication, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills. RICA students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in smallholder farming and to be exposed to six different enterprise-scale agribusinesses during their studies. The goal of RICA is to equip its students with the knowledge and skills to create innovative solutions to the challenges facing

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

HOW DO STUDENTS APPLY TO RICA?


The Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture, or RICA, is an institute of higher learning located in Bugesera District, Eastern Province. Like other institutions, students who meet certain academic requirements apply and go through an evaluation process that includes an interview; we also test for English-language proficiency. All accepted students receive a full scholarship plus room and board to attend, and all live on campus. Each class is between 80 and 84 students, with an equal number of women and men. Students graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Conservation Agriculture.

HOW MANY STUDENTS USUALLY APPLY?

Between the scholarship aspect and RICA’s innovative approach to education, there is a lot of student interest — we received 7000 applicants for our first class and expect demand to stay high as RICA’s reputation grows.

WHY DOES RICA EDUCATE IN ENGLISH ONLY? LOCAL FARMERS MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE PROFICIENCY IN ENGLISH.


English proficiency is a stated priority for Rwanda — institutions of higher learning expect their students to have a strong command of English. Since our students and staff are multilingual, they can interact with stakeholders anywhere and at any level. This also allows us to have faculty who are conservation agriculture experts but do not speak Kinyarwanda.

WERE LOCAL COMMUNITY OR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES INVOLVED IN DEVELOPING RICA?


Yes, to ensure RICA is locally driven, we worked closely with Rwandan stakeholders throughout, including an advisory committee of representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture and Education plus local farmers and agriculture industry representatives. RICA construction itself has employed more than 1000 people, 97% from the surrounding sectors of the Bugasera District.

WHAT IS ONE HEALTH?


One Health means that the health of humans, the earth, and animals are inextricably linked. If one of these segments is unhealthy, it both effects and may have been caused by the health of the other two segments. For example — diseases in humans are often transmitted by animals; population density affects the environment; and so on.

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