Gaspard and his wife reaching upwards

Rwanda

Our small, mountainous country is sometimes called the land of a thousand hills, or the Little Switzerland of Africa, but we are also the most densely populated nation in Africa and our geography is a challenge to growing food. Agriculture is vital to our economy, and accounts for 90% of our national food needs. We have made great strides in combatting extreme poverty, which has been reduced from 40% in 2000 to 16% in 2016/17 but further progress is limited by the challenges to our agricultural sector.

The challenges and opportunities for Ripple Effect Rwanda

1. 50% of our farmers have less than 0.35ha of land

Ninety percent of Rwandan land is on hillsides. Population pressure means that ownership of available farmland is fragmented (most people own tiny plots of land, or are landless), and soil is exhausted and vulnerable to erosion. It’s estimated that 1.4 million tonnes of topsoil are lost every year.

Ripple Effect Rwanda is promoting farming techniques and innovations that increase productivity on small areas of land while conserving soil fertility and controlling erosion. Our agroecological climate positive approach (ACPA) works with natural systems and improves soil health.

2. The climate crisis is making rains unpredictable and making drought and floods more frequent

In a 2018 Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment, around 40% of households reported that their access to food had been affected by at least one “shock” or uncommon situation during the previous 12 months. The most frequently reported shocks, mainly affecting the Eastern and Southern provinces, were weather-related: drought, irregular rains, or prolonged dry spells.

3. 44% of children under five have stunted growth due to malnutrition

Despite the economic improvements of the last two decades, poverty remains widespread, and many people remain at risk of food insecurity, malnutrition and undernourishment. Twenty percent of Rwandan households are food insecure.

Ripple Effect Rwanda is building the resilience of farmers and their communities to climate change, by ensuring their ecosystems are properly protected and maintained to meet their immediate needs and those of future generations. Programme measures include constructing terraces and contour ditches, irrigation powered by solar energy, promoting reafforestation and agroforestry, and introducing energy-saving stoves and renewable energy.

The impact of Ripple Effect Rwanda

99% of farmers became food secure after two years with our dairy development project

74% of our project participants who were marginalised now say they are included and empowered, and have access to resources

Income increased from $1.39 per person per day to $2.24, bringing families above the international poverty line

Where we are working

Empowering Coffee Communities | October 2021 - September 2024

This project is improving the gender equality and family health, food security, and livelihoods of coffee-growing communities in Bugesera and Nyaruguru districts. Training in gender equality is giving women the confidence and opportunity to take up leadership positions, and influence positive change at a local level.

Inka Nziza Zikamwa | July 2021 - June 2024

This project supported by Jersey Overseas Aid in the Rulindo, Kayonza, Rwamagana, Ngoma, Nyanza, Nyaruguru and Bugesera districts is working with 12,296 households to improve dairy cow management and increase milk production. Jersey cows generally consume less food and water per litre of milk produced, making them ideal for Rwandan smallholders. Milk collection points and centres being established in communities are enabling people to sell their surplus milk produce and improve their livelihoods.

Orora Neza | October 2021 - September 2024

Nyamagabe is one of the hungriest and most food-insecure districts in Rwanda, where farmers have been struggling to feed their livestock enough good-quality fodder. With funding from AGFUND, Ripple Effect Rwanda is improving animal nutrition by establishing local fodder multiplication sites supplying fodder seeds and planting materials. Quality milk production is increasing, and farmers are also developing their access to markets, which is improving livelihoods and nutrition security.

Rwamagana Widows Empowerment | September 2021 - August 2022

This project, funded by Bothar, is improving nutrition by increasing skills in sustainable agriculture techniques which improve soil fertility and manage pests. Families are also developing their skills in financial management and marketing through the establishment of village saving and loan schemes and income-generating projects.

How our work supports Rwanda’s SDGs / national targets

Our work contributes to Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) and the Strategic Plan for Agricultural Transformation (PSTA 4), with a focus on:

1. Improving and increasing agriculture and livestock productivity

We are tackling malnutrition linked to poverty by increasing access to diverse and nutritious food.

Our training programmes develop farmers’ skills and self-confidence and increase knowledge-sharing and good practice, leading to increased crops and livestock productivity.

2. Sustainable environmental and natural resources management

Our programmes promote integrated agriculture and livestock farming and agroforestry, improving soil conservation and soil erosion control, rainwater harvesting and efficient water use.

Scaling up these technologies is establishing sustainable natural resource management practices across wider communities and enabling farmers to be more resilient to climate shocks.

3. Enhancing resilience to shocks and graduation from poverty and extreme poverty

Our integrated training facilitates the fundamental mindset changes on savings and investment practices that are necessary to establish reliable and diverse income-generating activities.

Our focus on market analysis and developing market access enables people to create jobs for themselves and others, reducing poverty within families and across communities.

Our partners include...

  • Government of Rwanda
  • Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board
  • Jersey Overseas Aid | Project: Jersey Inka Nziza Zikamwa (Dairy for Development Project)
  • Starbucks Foundation | Projects: Empowering Coffee Communities in Rwanda
  • Arab Gulf Fund / AdFund | Project: Orora Neza (Dairy Development Project)
  • Bothar | Project: Rwamagana Widows Empowerment

Talk to us

  • Laurent Munyankusi

    Laurent Munyankusi

    Country Director, Rwanda

    Speak to me about opportunities for collaboration and partnership, and any media queries

  • Angelique Barongo

    Angelique Barongo

    Programme & Partnership Support Manager

    Please contact me about programme delivery and partnership opportunities

  • Donna Akariza Ajambo

    Donna Akariza Ajambo

    Programme Funding Officer

    Speak to me about funding opportunities and grants management of Ripple Effect Rwanda projects

For anything else please contact programmes@rippleeffect.org and we will reply to you promptly.

Ripple Effect Rwanda

KG 2 Av 4

Kimihurura

PO Box 522

Kigali

Rwanda

Tel: +250 788 389 758

Email: rwanda@rippleeffect.org

Website: rippleeffect.org/rwanda