UN Women executive director visit to COOPCUMA in Gatsibo District, Rugarama Sector

22 May 2017
On her first day in Rwanda, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka the UN Women executive director visited Coopcuma Farmer’s Cooperative in Gatsibo District in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, to learn more about the innovative “Buy From Women” platform. The platform is a mobile-enabled supply chain that connects women farmers to information, finance and markets. The key partner in this platform is UN Women, WFP and RDO as the implementing partner.

The Executive Director was accompanied by Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Esperance Nyirasafari, Permanent Secretary ministry of agriculture and animal resources, Mr. Jean Claude KAYISINGA, UN Women’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa as well as Country Representatives for Rwanda, Malawi and South Africa, Vice Mayor in charge of Economic and Development Affairs of Gatsibo District Manzi Theogene, FAMA regional coordinator Mr.s Saori Kitajima and RDO executive secretary Mr. Eugene Rwibasira.

Members of the Farmer’s Cooperative welcome UN Women Executive Director, Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion and others to Gatsibo District in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. Photo: UN Women/Franz Stapelberg

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka receives a demonstration of the Buy from Women mobile platform from Mr. Mubiligi Augustine, systems coordinator BFW project. Photo: UN Women/Franz Stapelberg
During her visit, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka acknowledged the government and people of Rwanda for ensuring strong women's representation in the government as well corporate leadership to ensure an economy that works for the people.
“Today, we celebrate the importance of creating an economy that works for people, a cooperative in agriculture that addresses hunger, nutrition and generates income for the people who are living in this part of the country. It is only when we can join these efforts across the villages, across the regions, across continents, across the world that we can truly say, we are creating an inclusive economy, and an economy that works for people,” Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said.



3 Mar 2017

The Farm to Market Alliance (FAMA) is the new name for Patient Procurement Platform (PPP) which progresses in accordance with the objectives that were set. This means working on several activities to get to know exactly the objectives and the salient activities planned between the RDO, WFP, AGRA, the different cooperatives who are the main stakeholders in the PPP Project.

  1. Overview of the January report

The activities done during this period are a continuation of those implemented during the last month. These include training mainly focusing on the Post-Harvest handling and storage (PHHS) and most cooperatives aimed at increasing the quality standards of the maize grains to be delivered. The standard operating procedures of aggregation were emphasized through visual aids to help farmers grasp better the PHHS skills. The tarpaulins distribution commenced for those cooperative that had hitherto paid the cost-share of the tarpaulins supported by WFP. There was also contracting of new cooperatives that expressed desire to join the project and needed to be linked to potential buyers.

Harvesting of maize commenced in areas of Nyagatare and Gatsibo and is still on-going. A new activity that commenced during this period was the introduction of small scale irrigation which commenced in some districts in the south in a bid to mitigate harsh climatic conditions that had set in.

The activities that were done include the following:

  • Cooperatives mobilization for irrigation

  • PHHS training for ToTs and ToTs training their fellow farmers

  • Mobilizing cooperatives to contribute to tarpaulins costs

  • Link cooperatives to other partners (PASP, PSDAG, etc)

  • Update on COAMANYA-PRODEV deal

  • Pre-delivery meetings with cooperatives and stakeholders

  • Signing of pre-harvest contract between off-takers and cooperatives and Contract revision for existing cooperatives


  1. Cooperatives mobilization for irrigation and drought impact data collection

Due to the effects of drought that were observed in the areas of intervention especially during the months of December and January, farmers were mobilized on irrigation system as initiative to fight drought effects pertaining at the time and in future. The Maize crop was at different stages of growth and with different levels of draught effects.  RDO Field staffs in southern province together with district officials from Muhanga mobilized cooperatives and individual farmers having access to water points close to their plots to start irrigating their maize plots using all available means at their disposal. This included irrigation with power pumps, peddle pumps and other local equipment for splashing water to the crop. This campaign was officially launched on 18th January, by the Mayor and Director of Agriculture along with the RDO staffs.  RDO was applauded for its efforts in the district. And its support in mobilizing farmers for this noble cause. This small scale irrigation was only conducted in the following cooperatives of TUZAMURANE CYEZA, KOPARWAMU, KOKAR, and KIABR of MUHANGA District. However TUZAMURANE CYEZA and KOPARWAMU bought their own durable irrigation machines that can be used in subsequent seasons. Others in RUHANGO and MUHANGA used traditional means that didn’t show much impact.

MPANGA MAIZE, UBUSHAKEBWIZA, URUMURI RWABAHINZI all given two (02) and IGIREMUHINZI (04) all received irrigation machines which they will pay in installments but to the tune of the 50% for the total cost. However, although the impact didn’t reach all farmers but it is a positive development of shifting to irrigation from rain fed agriculture.

In the Eastern Province, COVAMIS Cooperative used irrigation and it benefited all farmers to mitigate the impact of drought. Other cooperatives in the East are still dependent on rain fed agriculture.

Download Full Report here

PPP November, REPORT 2016

10 Jan 2017

The Patient Procurement Platform (PPP) progresses in accordance with the objectives that were set. This meant working on several activities to get to know exactly the objectives and the salient activities planned between the RDO, WFP, AGRA, the different cooperatives who are the main stakeholders in the PPP Project. The activities that were done include the following

Mobilization and sensitization meetings in both East and South

In November 2016, the farmers were mobilized on role of good agricultural best practices, use of fertilizers for increasing productivity, pest and disease control. Thus 23 cooperatives which include eleven cooperatives of Nyagatare District, eight cooperatives of Gatsibo District and four cooperatives of Kirehe District were mobilized and sensitized during the meeting organized at cooperatives levels and in different sites of the cooperatives. Those meeting were facilitated by lead farmers who disseminated skills to their fellows on top dressing and pest control. Below is a picture of farmers after top dressing of cooperative’s fields in CODPCUM.


ppp November
In southern Province, mobilizing farmers and encourage them to apply Good Agronomic Practices (GAP)
Reminding the cooperative leaders of the contracts signed with RGCC and all activities to be done so that they can comply with contract terms and conditions
Mobilize the cooperative to build the system of finding solutions for their problems
Top dressing training progress in both East and South
This focused on training of farmers by lead farmers on top dressing and monitoring the progress of top dressing activities in farmers’ fields. During the monitoring visits, the field officers mobilized the farmers on timely top dressing the maize as well as pest and disease control. Currently, the top dressing activities in farmers’ field is already done in Nyagatare District but it is still going on in Gatsibo and Kirehe Districts. Below is a sampled picture of farmer’s fields weeding/ Top dressing in KAKI Cooperative located in Kirehe District.image005

Due to the infestation of maize corn borer which appeared abundantly in November, the farmers were advised to buy pesticides and spray their maize in order to avoid losses which could result due to the pest. Below is a picture shows the farmer who sprays its maize for fighting against maize corn borer.

Gasabo in HIV/AIDS prevention drive

1 Apr 2016

Gasabo District, in partnership with a local organisation, Rwanda Development Organisation (RDO), has launched an HIV/ AIDS awareness campaign to educate the youth in the district about prevention measures.

Under the theme, “Protecting and treating children with HIV/AIDS virus is everyone’s duty” the campaign was launched, yesterday, in Batsinda, in Kigali’s Gasabo District.

The year-long campaign targets youth in school and villages.

Eugene Rwibasira, the executive secretary of Rwanda Development Organisation, said the campaign targeted youth to ensure they remained healthy.

“We are focusing on youth because they are more prone to the virus. Studies have shown that teenagers constitute a big number of HIV positive people in Rwanda, that is why we want to prevent its spread,” Rwibasira said.

He urged the youth to avoid reckless behaviour in their everyday life by choosing good friends.

“We encourage children to assess behaviors of their peers as this will help them guarantee good friends to associate with. Society impact children in one way or another, that’s why we ask parents to monitor their children,” Rwibasira said.

He observed that modernity and evolution of social media is spoiling children at an early age, leading them to involve in risky sexual behaviors.

“Nowadays, teenagers share a lot of information using phones. They are using social networks to watch pornographic content, this is why we have to educate them about the impacts of all that,” Rwabasira added.

Ellen Nyiranyamibwa, the director of health in Gasabo District, said the campaign involves free HIV testing.

We want youth to know the different methods of HIV prevention to avoid new infections, Nyiranyamibwa said.

Celine Uwacu, 16, a student in G.S Kagugu Catholique told The New Times that sensitisations were needed to enlighten the youth about the dangers of HIV and how to prevent it.

SOURCE: Newtimes.co.rw


Support In Agriculture Equipment

20 Oct 2015
In the context of RDO – IFDC partnership again smallholder farmer cooperatives in the district of Nyagatare in the Eastern Province of Rwanda were supported in agricultural equipment and these were handed over to farmers on 23rd September 2015. These are small scale irrigation system tools and beans and soybeans threshing and winnowing machines. The irrigation tools will help farmers to irrigate their crops in case of drought or insufficient rainfall whereas threshing and winnowing machines will ensure good post-harvest handling and quality of their produce for access to valuable markets.


Promotion of agro-financial investment

12 Oct 2015
Rwanda Development Organization (RDO) in partnership with IFDC organized a meeting in Nyagatare District which brought together smallholders farmers and financial institutions like Banque Rwandaise de Développement (BRD) and others banks operating in the District with the aim of promoting the investment in agricultural products especially the agricultural infrastructures. The meeting took place on 4th September, 2015 at MOON’S CHARITY HOTEL and was attended by the representatives of the following organizations:

  • BRD,


  • SACCO-Nyagatare,

  • BPR

  • IFDC,



During the opening speech, the Executive Sectary of RDO, emphasized on the role of agriculture sector in socio-economic transformation of the country in general and Rwandan community whereby farmers occupy the majority. He explained that one of RDO priorities is to assist farmers to boost their income through the use of modern technology from land preparation to harvesting. Increasing agricultural income cannot be achieved if the cost of production remains high with low access to organized market, with no value addition to staple crops at smallholder farmers level, low use of mechanization as a tool to reduce cost of production and the time used for farming activities. As we know, agriculture contributes much more to the livelihoods of many people especially in rural area but if not transformed; the livelihoods of many people will continue to be very poor. It is against this background that a meeting to link farmers with financial institutions was organized in Nyagatare District. The purpose of the meeting was to promote the investment in agriculture in terms of harvesting facilities, value addition to the agricultural produce, mechanization and transportation of the produce.

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After a brief introduction of the meeting, the RDO Project Officer presented on the potential of agriculture development and economic boost in Nyagatare district that has a vast arable and fertile land more suitable for grains and cereals.
She mentioned that is an opportunity to invest more in agriculture sector and that can benefit to farmers as well to potential investors here financial institutions are more encouraged. She also talked about challenges that farmers encounter such as:
• Limited use of agro- inputs to increase production
• High post harvest losses due to poor infrastructures
• Poor quality of produce and hence low prices and limited valuable markets
• Low production due to use of rudimentary tools in agriculture development( limited mechanization)
• Limited investments in agriculture
• Climatic changes
All these challenges resulting in consequences like high production costs and transaction costs, persistent low productivity, limited farmer incomes and so on.
Hence to the challenges with consequences mentioned above, some solutions were proposed as follows:
Short term proposed solutions
• Increase in agriculture infrastructure
• Linking farmers to financial institutions
• Building farmer capacity
• Linking farmers to valuable markets
• Practicing Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM)
Long term proposed solutions
Specialization of cooperatives
Joint management and coordination of facilities
Linking actors in the value chain
Mechanization of agricultural activities
Increasing investment in Agriculture
Promoting smart agriculture
Participants in a meeting on agro-finance
For the above proposed solutions to be possible, both farmers and financial institutions were called to do the following:
Farmers were urged to change the mindset, be business oriented, be professional, be organized, honor commitments, to paying back loans, honoring contracts, farmer cooperatives to represent their members.
Financial institutions were called to intervene / finance agriculture, to partner with farmer organizations, direct link with value-chain actors, listen to farmers, ease procedures and conditions.
The farmers’ representatives who attended the meeting expressed their needs in terms of finance to access modern agricultural technology especially infrastructures such as drying machines, transport services for their commodities, warehouse for storage of their produce, value addition of the harvest by establishing processing plants , mechanization, etc.
The representative of BRD in the meeting picked interest and explained the ways in which BRD can provide support to farming business especially to farmer cooperatives through loans. Referring to the issues expressed by the farmers, he analyzed case by case and at the end advised them to seek finance more on:

  • Tractors,

  • Dryers,

  • Warehouse.

BRD presents its agricultural products

For the above areas, he promised them that if conditions by BRD are fulfilled, the latter is ready to provide agricultural loans. The following are the requirements for farmer cooperatives to access loans from BRD:

  • Audit report by Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA),

  • Collateral for security,

  • Assessment of cooperative management,

  • A good bankable business plan.

After the intervention of BRD, the meeting was closed by RDO Executive Secretary by thanking all participants for their contributions especially BRD which witnessed its willing and commitment to invest in agriculture especially agro-infrastructure to boost the economy of the country in general and improve the livelihoods of the farmers in particular.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
During an open discussion on crop and livestock insurance. From left to right: SONARWA Representative, UAP Representative, RDO Executive Secretary

Meeting On Promotion Of Crop Insurance Organised By Rwanda Development Organisation (RDO)

10 Oct 2015


Hilltop Hotel,On 2nd September 2015, Rwanda Development Organization (RDO) in partnership with IFDC organized a meeting on crop insurance promotion. The meeting brought together farmer cooperatives and insurance companies to discuss issues affecting smallholder farmers especially risks related to climate change that cause huge production losses hence low agricultural incomes that maintain farmers in vicious poverty circle. The meeting was opened by RDO Executive Secretary who first welcomed all participants and then talked about potentials of agriculture development and economic growth in Nyagatare district. However, the district often faces challenges of limited rainfall (receives low rainfall annually) and drought due to climate change. Therefore needs interventions of insurance companies by offering crop insurance which will benefit not only farmers but also insurance companies because farmers will be their clients.

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After the opening of the meeting, RDO Programs Officer introduced RDO and its partnership with IFDC / Catalyst II.
She talked about RDO, its vision and mission, domains and area of interventions, targeted population, strategies and its partnership with IFDC / Catalyst II.
She then shared the objectives of the meeting which were to share concerns for crop production losses, link farmers with insurance companies, entice insurers to engage in agriculture activities and provide insurance to minimize risks in agricultural activities and assure farmers of survival and sustainable farming.
Presentaion of insurance products by insurance companies
Insurance companies participating to the meeting: UAP, SONARWA, RADIANT Insurance company, Prime Insurance. Among them, two presented their products; these are UAP and SONARWA.


UAP presenting its crop and livestock insurance productsThe representative talked about UAP, its insurance products on agriculture and livestock .

Underwriting consideration: criteria to insure

Process of going on cover, on insurance

Claim Process in case of peril, disaster

Portfolio analysis

Livestock insurance

Benefits of livestock insurance

Scope of cover

What is not covered

Product design and premium

Greenhouse insurance

Scope of cover


SHARED THEIR EXPERIENCE IN CROP AND LIVESTOCK INSURANCE: First was mobilized by MINAGRI together with a certain donor from America (Micro Insure) who insured 50% and the insurance company 50%. They were mobilized together with SORAS. The experience was not good because se very few farmers were able to buy the insurance, to pay contributions (primes). For insurance, the number of insured counts much. Also the following season, farmers first insured did not buy insurance again.
Discussion, Questions and Answers chaired by RDO Executive Secretary
The questions were addressed to UAP and SONARWA which have crop and livestock insurance products.
Participants seek more clarification on products presented; seek more explanation for satisfaction of their concerns.
Cooperatives asked about plans to reduce the cost / price of crop and livestock insurance, (if there is any).
According to the representative of SONARWA, the cost is still high because risks are also high. He suggested that there should be supporters to help farmers afford the price of insurance, like it was done by Micro Insure through MINAGRI.

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Way forward

Insurance companies (SONARWA & UAP) were requested by farmer cooperatives to schedule field visits to cooperatives to explain more their crop and livestock insurance products as participating farmers were interested and the farming season 2016A was about to begin.

The meeting was closed at 12h:30 by RDO Executive Secretary by thanking all attendants who had positively responded to the invitation, actively participated and allowed fruitful discussions during the meeting.


We all need each other to grow and prosper!




Youth Co-operative Capacity Building with Plan International – Background

28 Jan 2013
Working with 20 co-operatives, around 300 individuals, we are training the benefits of improved farming techniques.

We have trained many in the use of ox carts and animal traction. As a result, there are improving yields and a reduction in the reliance on manual labour for crop management.

We have provided 30 ox carts to lessen cultivation and transportation, and supported 5 co-operatives in their applications with RCA.

Malaria Prevention – November 2012

23 Jan 2013
Malaria Prevention and Control – November 2012 Programme update.

November 2012 saw the latest suite of training events take place across Easter Province. Comprising 12 sessions, each with an average of 70 Community Health Worker attending, the sessions received overwhelmingly positive feedback. However, there remain many challenges –

- The LLIN’s provided at the start of the campaign are becoming worn with age and use. They will need replacement in the near future to ensure they remain effective.

- Community Heath Workers are seeing their workloads increase as education around malaria’s symptoms and potential affects improve. The CHW’s are called on at any time of day or night, often in dark conditions on rough roads – assistance around lighting and wet weather clothing was seen as being of significant demand.

To date, the campaign has succeeded in:

- Distributing educational material –near 13,000 booklets showing the symptoms and impacts of malaria have been passed into communities.

- Establishing contact and education through television drama

- Promotional material (umbrellas, clothing, bags) have been distributed, highlighting the intention of the campaign.

- Regular, well attended quarterly meetings with CHW’s to gain feedback from the process.

IFDC – RADD Programme – Background

23 Jan 2013
RADD Project in partnership with IFDC

Focusing on poverty reduction, improving food security and the development of rural economic development through the adoption of sustainable crop production systems.

Each sector of Nyagatare district has established a minimum of one demonstration plot, providing farms with an understanding of how improved crop production systems can be used to improve crop outputs.

These plots have been supported by the introduction of Farmer’s Field days – bringing farmer’s together for training and the sharing of ideas and experiences to assist in the education process.