Rwandan student learns a different type of agriculture

JEAN CLAUDE MBARUSHIMANA
AGE: 23
HOME: KAMONYI, RWANDA
MAJOR: AGRIBUSINESS
HOBBIES: RUNNING, PRAYING AND HANGING OUT WITH FRIENDS
FAVORITE SAYING: “PEOPLE, WHEN THEY WALK TOGETHER, THEY CAN ACHIEVE MANY THINGS.”

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Agriculture is a worldwide industry and Rwandan student Jean Claude Mbarushimana is learning firsthand at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln how it varies throughout the world.

Mbarushimana, a 23-year-old freshman from the district of Kamonyi, studies agribusiness. He sees three major differences between agriculture in Nebraska and Rwanda: technology, land and the reason certain crops are grown.

“We grow corn and you grow corn, but there is a difference because they told us a large quantity of corn here are used to produce ethanol,” he said. “We grow corn for food. That’s the big difference.”

Since arriving in Nebraska in August, he has spoken with farmers and visited farms, feed lots and other agricultural businesses.

His opportunity to study at UNL came through an association between the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the Rwandan government. He is a part of a group of 50 Rwandan students, some of whom he already knew.

Mbarushimana’s scholarship requires that he study something related to agriculture. His interest in business administration made agribusiness an easy choice.

“The government wants to enforce (the agriculture) sector so it can improve the productivity,” he said. “It works with our donor, so the scholarship they provided to me caused me to do agribusiness.”

As part of a four-year program, his journey is just beginning, but he is already looking ahead to what comes next.

Although he might consider graduate school, he currently plans to return to Rwanda.

“At this point, I think I (will) go back home because what I am studying is connected to my country and in my program everything that we do we try to connect it to my country,” he said.

With his agribusiness degree, Mbarushimana will have the opportunity to work in one of Rwanda’s biggest industries either from the side of businesses or individual farmers, he said.

“I think I can work with either side, but I’m mostly interested in working with those companies.”

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