Helping Revolutionize Local Agriculture in Gabiro, Rwanda

Helping Revolutionize Local Agriculture in Gabiro, Rwanda

The communities of Rwanda’s Eastern Province have been affected by long drought seasons, which have impacted their food security. Netafim recently partnered with the government of Rwanda to launch the Gabiro Agribusiness Hub Project (GAHP), which aims to create a holistic and commercial agricultural ecosystem of a modern value chain in approximately 15,600 hectares of arable land.

We are very proud to bring to Gabiro advanced water infrastructures, cutting-edge irrigation systems, high-value agro-processing operations and other agricultural innovations. The Rwandan government sees the project as the perfect opportunity to derisk the private sector’s investment in agriculture. It will also attract foreign investments and increase export of high-value crops while improving the livelihood of the local communities.

The first phase covering 5,600 hectares will grow maize, soybeans and high-value crops, and will take 18 months. 70% of the land will be leased to private investors, and 30% is being developed and maintained by the local communities for agriculture and livestock growing. Due to the hilly terrain and limited water resources, we decided to deploy our drip-irrigation systems, which are expected to increase land utilization to a record 93% while decreasing 40% water use.

The Gabiro project will support the production of staple crops for local consumption, export and agricultural value-added products like pastes, powders, oils and beverages intended primarily for export.

Although local communities are not familiar with advanced agricultural techniques, our experts are successfully engaging them to substantially increase employment and better their livelihood. In terms of the socio-economic impact on the local community, the achievements are extraordinary:

  • Additional and improved sources of income for landowners
  • Job diversification and reduced unemployment by allowing youth, women and the elderly to actively participate in the project
  • Access to the banking system, financing and credit to improve the local community’s wealth
  • Education of the target population on best agricultural practices, livestock technologies, agronomy, field management, machinery
  • Improved housing standards in terms of size and infrastructure (electricity, water, sewage) and better health conditions
  • Continuous food supply and food security

With the new sources of income generated and the active involvement of the community, Netafim and the Gabiro project are making a difference in the lives of thousands!