Rural Community Support Project (RCSP) was a project funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Government of Rwanda for a period of five years (December 2014 to December 2019). It was implemented under Single Project Implementation Unit (SPIU) of the Rwanda Agricultural and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB).
The overall objective of RCSP was to sustainably increase agricultural production in developed marshlands and hillsides. It was implemented under the following development objectives: (i) increase the agricultural productivity of organized farmers in the marshlands and adjacent hillsides targeted for development in an environmentally sustainable manner; (ii) increase farmers’ income in market-based value chains activities; and iii) strengthen the participation of beneficiary farmers (men and women) with ownership based on the Korean Saemaul Undong mindset approach, self-help, diligence, and cooperation.
RCSP target group consisted of smallholders in their respective project areas producing or interested in producing grains (rice, maize, beans) tubers vegetables and other crops.
It was largely made up of low-income households cultivating up to 0.2ha in marshland and 0.3ha in hill side, who depended predominantly on agriculture to sustain their livelihoods.
The project intervention areas for marshlands rehabilitation/development and sustainable land management on hillsides were selected jointly by KOICA and SPIU World Bank funded Projects in MINAGRI technical team based on three main criteria: (i) potential water resource for irrigation and drainage development in marshland; (ii) topographical and geographical conditions in adjacent hillside areas; and (iii) farming status in the marshland and adjacent hillside areas.
RCSP excelled in marshland and adjacent hillsides development including irrigation schemes’ construction, which has boosted crop production, hence improved rural livelihoods and incomes.
The project recorded significant impact in Marshland Rehabilitation and Development that resulted in the increase of agricultural productivity of rice. Rice production increased from 4,475T/ha during baseline to 5,475T/ha during endline.
Similarly, vegetables’ productivity increased from 5,665T/ha during baseline to 11,929T/ha by the end of the project. In addition to marshland development, hillside management practices including agroforestry, terracing and ditch construction impacted on the enhancement of agriculture production whereby cassava productivity increased from 12,247.53T/ha during baseline survey to 15,911.08T/ha during endline survey.
Additionally, the productivity of maize increased from 1,653.53T/ha during baseline to 3,430.9T/ha at the end of the Project.
In order to enhance farmers capacity a number of trainings were conducted whereby 9,595 farmers including 6,047males (63.0%)and 3,548females (37.0%) were trained in good agricultural practices, seeds multiplication, pest and diseases control, post-harvest handling and quality management, social mobilization, micro-credit operation and management, cooperatives management etc.
RCSP was implemented in seven sites namely; Ruterana in Muhanga District; Kajevuba and Ruzigambogo in Gasabo District; Kanyonyomba in Gatsibo District; Rwinkwavu in Kayonza District; Bwanya in Gicumbi and Gatsibo Districts and Gakenke in Gakenke District.