Boosting agri-economic development in Rwanda

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rwanda has awarded ICCO Cooperation funding (€ 2 million: 2013 – 2015) for the development of an Agri-Sector Development Facility (ASDF).

ICCO Cooperation will be the lead agency and host of the secretariat of a network of Dutch organizations and enterprises active in agri-sector development in Rwanda, called Agri-ProFocus Rwanda.

The agribusiness sector in Rwanda consists of few small entrepreneurs, while farmers are mainly smallholders. Those farmers, farmers’ organizations and agri-businesses which do take an entrepreneurial stand and want to invest and develop their businesses encounter many difficulties and often lack information or knowledge, access to the right partners, or just lack specific means. Linking them to Dutch expertise and/or agribusiness might be a way to overcome these difficulties and boost agri-economic development.

ASDF is a flexible funding facility to respond to a wide array of demands for financial support for relatively small scale initiatives. It enhances farmer entrepreneurship and innovations in value chains contributing to food security in Rwanda by:

•Linking Dutch expertise/agribusiness to relevant initiatives of Rwandan agri-businesses and producers organizations.

•Providing subsidies to farmer-organizations and other chain-actors for joint initiatives creating innovations in agricultural value-chains which lead to increased farmer-income, increased agri-business development as well as increased (local) food security in Rwanda.

•Co-financing investments from organized farmers and agri-businesses to develop their agribusinesses to the extent that they become economically viable (and hence bankable).

The activities of applicants may include:

•On-farm testing of new agricultural practices, inputs, technologies or equipment,

•assisting farmers with collective procurement of inputs,

•strengthen agri-business relationship Rwanda-Netherlands

•designing and testing new farmer-inclusive business models

•assisting cooperatives or SMEs in product development or accessing new markets

•strengthen the creditworthiness of farmers’ organizations and farmer-involvement in the design and implementation of innovative financial products (credit and insurance), in collaboration with the financial sector.