The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry has signed a partnership deal with Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) to support modern farming in Nyaruguru District.
The $5 million (about Rwf3.8 billion) three-year integrated rural development project will focus on initiatives in sustainable land management on hillsides, marshlands rehabilitation and development, as well as support to the Girinka programme, according to Innocent Musabyimana, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.
Musabyimana said the partnership is geared toward increasing agriculture productivity through promotion of modern farming practices.
He said, under the project, residents of Kibeho sector in Nyaruguru will be organised into co-operatives and trained in appropriate farming methods. The project will contribute to poverty alleviation programmes along the agriculture value chain.
Musabyimana said farmers will also be given a maize drying facility and a maize mill, as well as a multi-purpose warehouse. A community centre will also be built under the project, and public toilets.
He explained that the ministry will be responsible for managing, monitoring and evaluation of the project, while the district is the implementing agency.
Lae Hyeong, the KOICA resident representative, said the partnership will help facilitate co-ordination of agricultural activities in the district to ensure project success.
Francois Habitegeko, the mayor of Nyaruguru District, noted that the partnership will play a critical role in reducing poverty levels in the area through increased production. Under the programme, 350 dairy cows will be distributed to the poor, while 300 hectares of land will be improved in hilly parts of the district to help combat soil erosion, he added.
The project also seeks to increase access to farm inputs, like seeds and fertilisers, to enhance crop output.
The Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey report released last week indicates that 660,000 Rwandans were lifted out of poverty over the last three years.
The research conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda also shows that poverty levels reduced by 5.8 per cent. The majority of these depend on agriculture for their livelihood.