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Rwandan government announces $10-million investment in livestock farmers

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Green fresh field with cows in summer

To improve incomes and food and nutrition security in Rwanda’s most impacted regions, international development organization, Heifer International, and the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture have announced a partnership to invest more than $10 million in livestock and training for 23,400 smallholder farming households.

In Rwanda, one fifth of the population is food insecure, and the average income per household is approximately $3.11 per day in the 15 districts in Rwanda’s Northern, Southern, Western provinces where PRISM will be implemented.

Through the partnership, Heifer International aims to support farmers to reach a living income – the amount of money needed to live a dignified life – of $6.08 per household per day. PRISM will focus on prioritizing three groups: women heads of households, malnourished children and young adolescent girls, in order to sustainably improve the livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations. Women will represent at least 50% and youth at least 30% of those engaged by PRISM and will have opportunities to access finance through the project.

“Heifer International has supported communities across Rwanda for more than 20 years to build sustainable food and farming businesses, and reduce hunger and poverty,” said Adesuwa Ifedi, Senior Vice President of Africa Programs for Heifer International. “Through our training model, farmers will develop the financial, farming and leadership skills they need to care for their animals and sharpen their business acumen. This will help them improve farm production and productivity, as well as develop stronger connections to formal markets, building sustainable agribusinesses and increasing profits.”

“We look forward to working closely with Heifer Rwanda to deliver this program that will positively impact farmers and their families,” said Dr. Gérardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda. “Heifer International has a long history of working with farmers in Rwanda to build resilient rural communities and support farming families to live productive, prosperous lives.”

Heifer International’s Values Based Holistic Community Development model supports communities to build their capacity for development, working with farmers to increase their knowledge and resilience, while reducing vulnerability to climate change and economic shocks. PRISM will include:

Formation of self-help groups of 20-30 members to provide capacity building training and mentorship

Training and capacity for poultry, swine, goat and sheep farmers to develop shared values, mobilize and plan together

Agribusiness and income generation training to develop hard and soft skills, including nutrition, gender and leadership modules for men and women, values based financial literacy and environmental management

Technical training prior to livestock placement on poultry, swine, goat and sheep breeding, husbandry and feeding

Training and equipment for Community Agrovet Entrepreneurs (CAVEs) to support animal wellbeing across all value chains, including basic animal care, vaccines and simple surgeries.

In addition to providing training to 23,400 farmers on sustainable community development and livestock production, PRISM will strengthen private sector service provision. It will support the formation of 1,170 farmer groups and establish a network of 117 community facilitators, along with veterinary and extension services provided by 31 private veterinary entrepreneurs.

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