Rwanda

An overview from the USAID Rwanda website.

Agriculture employs 70 percent of the labor force in Rwanda, and the country’s solid growth record and macroeconomic stability provide a solid foundation for agricultural investment. Rwanda has committed itself to sustained agricultural growth by increasing the national budget for agriculture from 3 percent in 2006 to 10.7 percent in 2013. Rwanda’s agricultural growth has averaged more than 6 percent annually since 2007.

Rwanda has made remarkable progress since the tragedy of the 1994 genocide, enjoying strong economic growth rates, creating new business opportunities, and lifting people out of poverty. Yet the small, landlocked country with the highest population density in Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the world’s poorest countries. About 63 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day, with almost 40 percent living in extreme poverty on less than 90 cents per day.

The vast majority of farmers practice subsistence farming on small, hilly plots. Due to erosion and poor soil fertility practices, up to half of the country’s land is severely degraded. The use of improved seeds, pesticides and fertilizers is limited In part due to low agricultural productivity, nearly a third of the Rwandan population experience food insecurity. Undernutrition persists among young children in rural areas, with 44 percent of children under 5 suffering from stunting.

To address food insecurity and malnutrition in Rwanda, Feed the Future is contributing to increasing productivity of maize, beans, dairy, and pyrethrum and promoting good nutrition practices.

Strategy

  • Goal: Reduce prevalence of poverty in Feed the Future target regions by 20 percent.
  • Goal: Reduce prevalence of stunting in children under 5 in Feed the Future target regions by 20 percent.

To achieve its goals, Feed the Future is making key investments to:

  • Transform systems by improving agricultural productivity, markets, infrastructure and nutrition;
  • Promote private sector investment in the agriculture sector;
  • Strengthen the policy-making capacity of Rwanda’s government.

Priority Institutions

  • University of Rwanda, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (UR-CAVM)
  • Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI), including the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB)

Priority Study Areas (UR-CAVM)

  • Agribusiness (Ph.D.)
  • Agricultural engineering
  • Horticulture (including coffee and tea)
  • Plant breeding or plant pathology
  • Veterinary medicine and animal science (M.S. and Ph.D. levels)

Priority Study Areas (MINAGRI and RAB)

  • Aquaculture or fisheries (M.S.)
  • Agricultural economics, data analysis, etc. (M.S.)
  • Animal/dairy product processing (M.S.)
  • Horticulture (M.S.)
  • Irrigation (M.S.)
  • Logistics and cold chain management (M.S.)
  • Mechanization (M.S.)
  • Post-harvest technology (M.S.)
  • Horticulture or floriculture - specialization in tea or coffee potato taste disease (Ph.D.)
  • Wheat or soya breeding; plant physiology (Ph.D.)

Current BHEARD students from Rwanda: