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VW Rwanda mulls e-tractor to boost agric mechanisation

In line the mechanisation of agriculture programme in Rwanda that started in 2009/2010, Volkswagen Rwanda is looking forward to test-driving a prototype of an e-tractor on a field in Bugesera District by Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA).

The e-tractor which will be powered by renewable energy, is promising to ease farmers’ work and increase the yield on the farmland, according to officials.

The CEO of Volkswagen in Rwanda, Serge Kamuhinda told with The New Times, “the e-tractor will be a multi-tasker, meant to be used in soil preparation and post-harvest handling”.

This will primarily be useful for the farmers who suffer using a lot of physical and labour force and in the end yield less from their farmland.

“Among other projected benefits of e-tractors for farmers include facilitating transport, as it has been seen that Rural areas farmers face difficulties in the transportation of their goods”, Serge affirmed.

Volkswagen is in collaboration with different stakeholders, to be able to actvate this prototype in Rwanda, after which it has successfully been tested in German. It is also intended to be implemented in South Africa where VW has operations.

The stakeholders include; Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and University of Rwanda-College of Science and Technology.

According to Herbert Diess, Chairman of Board of Management of Volkswagen Group, in his post on LinkedIn shared that together with their partners, they launched the conservation agriculture project Gen.Farm: a sustainable Co2-free hub where farmers can book an e-tractor including a trained driver for.

He also said that the e-tractor has swappable batteries that allow it to operate around the clock.

Diess, in his post, also affirmed that the e-tractor won’t need fossil fuels, that it will rather use renewable energies which will be more climate friendly.

However, since the e-tractor is still a prototype that is yet to be tested, Kamuhinda suggested waiting for the project to be fully studied, tested and implemented to measure its full potential.

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