New Zealand, European Commission supports Rwanda’s agriculture sector with funding

Rwanda – The Government of New Zealand has joined in as the new partner of Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA), with its multi-year commitment of NZD 6.8 million (US$4.8m) to support smallholder farmers across Africa.

As part of the contribution, Rwanda is set to receive NZD 4.2 million (US$3m) in the next three years to 2023, which will enable the organization scale up its support targeting 200,000 smallholder farmers in the country’s rural areas.

FtMA is a unique alliance of six organizations with the mission to develop a sustainable and profitable agricultural sector in Africa by supporting smallholder farmers to transition to commercial agriculture.

The Alliance’s global members include The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Bayer, Rabobank, Syngenta Crop Protection, Yara, and WFP.

“With the support of FtMA, WFP has already been able to support more than 85,000 smallholder farmers in Rwanda since 2016. This multi-year contribution will allow us to continue with this critical work and scale-up to reach additional farmers,” said Edith Heines, WFP Rwanda Representative, and Country Director.

Through FtMA Rwanda, smallholder farmers are supported with a range of services to promote farming as a business, use of improved inputs, and enhancing crop post-harvest management.

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Smallholder farmers and their cooperatives are then linked to formal financial services that allows them to scale-up and enhance their production.

Once crops are harvested, cooperatives are linked directly to public and private sector formal off-takers to sell their quality harvests at premium market prices.

“This multi-year contribution will allow us to continue with this critical work and scale-up to reach additional farmers.”

Edith Heines – WFP Rwanda Representative, and Country Director

Meanwhile, the European Commission has provided EUR 1 million (US$1.2m) to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to support the Ministry of Agriculture in Rwanda enhance skills in analysis of public investment priorities and policy options for the Covid-19 recovery period.

The grant will support the Government of Rwanda to implement the agriculture sector strategy and in particular its contribution to the national development targets by enhancing food and nutrition security, sustainable and efficient use of land and water resources, development of agricultural high value chains and strengthening of public financial management (PFM) capacities in the agriculture sector.

“As we are now focusing on Covid-19 Recovery, it is important for Rwanda to rely on robust technical expertise that will strengthen Agriculture policy so as to efficiently support national economic recovery”, said Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, Head of the EU Delegation to Rwanda. 

The grant will specifically contribute to development of policies for sustainable growth by enhancing national capacity to implement the 2019-2024 Strategic Plan for Agricultural Transformation (PSTA 4).

This will be done through policy analysis, capacity development, and partnerships.

IFPRI will further mobilize analytical tools and data to provide the ministry with analysis of public investment priorities and policy options for the Covid-19 recovery period. This action will be instrumental in informing the EU’s upcoming programming phase.

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