Despite the fact that Agriculture is the main source of income for dwellers occupying the Eastern province of Rwanda, it has always been fetching farmers low income. The low yields have been largely attributed to the application of traditional farming methods.
In a move attempting to tackle this challenge, the Rwandan government through Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has entered into a joint venture with Netafim, an Israeli irrigation technology firm in a move to improve crop production.
The first phase of the project dubbed ‘Gabiro Agribusiness Hub Project (GAHP)’ will focus on the Eastern province of Rwanda.
In this phase, an estimated USD 66 mn will be invested in the project that will run for a period of 18 months. Reportedly, 5,600 hectares of land will be developed during this period. The project will support the production of crops for local consumption as well as agricultural value-added products such as oils, beverages, pastes for export.
It will also boost local livestock production in the drought-stricken area. The project will entail the development of the infrastructure for a commercial farming in the area.
The joint deal was signed between Netafirm and Rwanda Development. While signing the deal, the RDB Chief Executive Officer, Clare Akamanzi said that Netafim is expert in technologies such as drip irrigation and fertigation.
She further noted that the innovative and efficient irrigation technologies, will enable small farmers to increase crop production in addition to curbing water scarcity, increasing productivity, incomes and household food security.
“This project will significantly enhance private sector investments in Rwanda’s agricultural sector, mitigate the risks of climate change and food security, contribute to job creation, increase export of value-added products and enhance rural community development and livelihood.”
Over time, the region has proved to be one of the most vulnerable drought affected areas. Prolonged droughts have prompted the Rwandan government to severally deliver food aids to thousands of people living in this region. The project will finally come as relief for occupants of the region.
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