The World Bank Board of Executive Directors this week approved a $34 million credit to Rwanda for the land husbandry, water harvesting and hillside irrigation project.
The project’s objective is to increase the productivity and commercialization of hillside agriculture in target areas for development.
According to officials the project will use a watershed approach to introduce sustainable land husbandry measures for hillside agriculture on selected sites and will develop hillside irrigation for sub-sections of each site.
It involves infrastructural development, closely linked to the mobilization and sensitization of farmers for intensification and use of good practice in land husbandry technologies.
Other than the implementation component, which will ensure that project activities are effectively managed within the new sector wide approach structure for implementation of programs and projects at the ministry of agriculture, the operation has two other components.
Some of the components include developing the human and organizational capacity, and developing the required physical infrastructure for hillside intensification and transformation.
Officials also said that the capacity development and institutional strengthening for hillside intensification will develop the capacity of individuals and institutions for improved hillside land husbandry, stronger agricultural value chains, and expanded access to finance.
“The component covers capacity development and institutional strengthening for both production and marketing, including the access to finance issues that can constrain both,” said a statement from the World Bank.
”It will also strengthen farmer organizations; support extension systems to develop the essential training of beneficiary farmers on the benefits of sustainable land husbandry and on the practical skills and technologies required for irrigated and non-irrigated hillside intensification,” it added.
The statement also said that the component will provide to the beneficiaries the required training on good agricultural practices (GAP) as well as organic production and market linkages for high value horticultural crops.
The infrastructure for hillside intensification will enhance participatory and comprehensive land husbandry practices throughout the sub-watershed to improve soil productivity for rainfed and irrigated areas, reduce erosion, and improve soil health for degraded lands.
”The construction of valley dams and reservoirs and development of water conveyance structures for hillside irrigation will enable farmers, through their water users associations (WUAs), to irrigate their crops whenever necessary,” the statement said.