Kigali, Rwanda – The Clinton Development Initiative (CDI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, announced an expansion of its long-standing work in Rwanda. Through a new agreement with the Government of Rwanda, CDI will adapt and implement agricultural programs that have been operating successfully in Malawi and Tanzania to help more Rwandan farmers increase their crop yields and improve their access to markets. This work will also help more Rwandan farmers adapt to, and mitigate the impact of, climate change to further increase their yields and incomes.
This expansion was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding signed with Rwanda’s Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI).
“This work will support other ongoing partnerships in the crop value chains,” said Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources. “It will support farmers’ access to production inputs as well as serve as a nucleus to modern agriculture in important commodities such as potatoes, maize, soybean, and vegetables.”
“Smallholder farmers in Rwanda face many challenges – from a lack of access to markets and production equipment, to a changing climate that is disrupting crop yields,” said Walker Morris, CEO of the Clinton Development Initiative. “CDI’s work encourages economic growth by helping farmers gain access to bank loans, agricultural inputs, and high quality seed. The expansion of our work in Rwanda will scale up these proven solutions that have already helped empower farmers to support their families and uplift their communities.”
Since 2008, the Clinton Foundation has partnered with the Hunter Foundation in Rwanda, establishing two agribusinesses – Soyco Limited and Rwanda Farmers Coffee Company – to foster economic development and empower smallholder farmers, connect them to markets that add value to their agricultural products, create jobs, and expand export opportunities. Additionally, CDI has demonstrated success in working with more than 40,000 smallholder farmers in Tanzania and Malawi by increasing their crop yields and improving their access to markets for high crop selling prices, resulting in increased profits to farmers.
Going forward, CDI’s work in Rwanda aims to:
- Significantly increase the domestic production of soya, including production by smallholder farmers, and using that production to meet demand from large scale buyers of soya within Rwanda;
- Increase domestic production of hybrid maize seed in partnership with private sector seed companies, while simultaneously scaling up production of certified soya, legume, potato, and vegetable seed;
- Improve yields and crop productivity by encouraging use of certified seed, fertilizer, and other inputs by smallholders throughout improved distribution, affordable pricing, availability of appropriate products and comprehensive training in safe and effective use;
- Work with MINAGRI to establish a commercial farm for improved soya and maize seed multiplication; and,
- Introduce and train farmers in improved agronomic practices for maize and soya, such as climate smart agriculture – which will help maintain and eventually improve overall soil quality and health.
President Clinton most recently visited Clinton Foundation projects in Rwanda in August 2013.
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