A new damning report has revealed that Rwanda loses some 27 million tonnes of topsoil each year thanks to soil erosion, resulting in an annual loss of Rwf800 billion. This is a significant loss especially considering Rwanda’s size. The picture is even direr if analysed in the context of the country’s arable land. To put the attendant financial loss in context, the Rwf800 billion the country loses annually through soil erosion is just less than a sixth of the current financial year’s national budget. The amount is greater than the budgetary allocations for agriculture, health and energy combined. The report shows that more than 745,000 hectares of Rwanda’s agricultural land potentially loses its topsoil – the soil layer that contains most of nutrients and fertility – every year. It shows that severe erosion washes away 22,000 tonnes of maize and 15,000 tonnes of beans every planting season, with the total economic loss in agricultural productivity estimated at Rwf37.9 billion each season. Needless to say, this poses a serious threat to the country’s food security ambitions and undermines both short-and long-term strategies to transform the agriculture sector. The study has shined a light on one of the most serious challenges facing the agriculture sector, with smallholder farmers bearing the brunt of the consequences of soil erosion. Add climate change to the mix and the situation could get worse in the years ahead. It is a sobering reminder that we need to urgently reexamine the current strategies to prevent land degradation, and even go back to basics where necessary. The same study indicates that, to control erosion, the country needs to invest at least Rwf500 billion to promote terraces, agroforestry and contour farming. These findings – and the proposed actions – need to be taken seriously by concerned authorities, both at the central and local government levels. And, we must act now before it’s too late.