he Government of Rwanda and the World Bank Group today signed US$26.3 million (Approximately Frw 23 billion) grant agreement to increase agricultural productivity, market access, and food security of the targeted beneficiaries in the project areas.
Financed under the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Food Security Project will focus on consolidating and expanding the results obtained under the Land Husbandry Water Harvesting and Hillside Irrigation (LWH) and the third Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP3) also funded through World Bank and will be implemented in eight districts: Rulindo, Rwamagana, Karongi, Rutsiro, Kayonza, Nyanza, Gatsibo, and Nyabihu.
The five-year project is expected to result in 15 percent increase in yield of targeted crops and 25 percent increase in marketed produces by farmers of project area in five years. It will directly benefit 38,000 farmer households totaling 200,000 family members of whom 88,000 are women.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana said: “To ensure sustainability and ownership of this project, beneficiaries will receive matching grants to finance facilities and equipment based on eligible business plans. Farmer organizations will be strengthened to improve their skills to help farmers build knowledge and skills to make their farm operations more profitable.”
World Bank Country Manager Yasser El Gammal pointed out that: “The World Bank partnership will further improve agriculture productivity and is part of a larger program we are supporting aimed at scaling back stunting which has impact on future potential of the young population,”
Apart from farmer households, the project will also benefit other value chain actors including entrepreneurs and small and micro agri-businesses, working in selected value chains. Communities in the target areas at large will indirectly benefit from the project through investments in SACCOs, post-harvest and agro-processing equipment, and market linkages. Specific emphasis will be placed on identifying and providing opportunities for income-generating activities for women and youth.
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