Rwanda, World Bank launch US$300 million project to commercialize, de-risk agriculture

Kigali, September 30, 2022—The Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) together with the World Bank Group have launched a US$300 million project that seeks to commercialize and de-risk agriculture sector in Rwanda.

The new Project dubbed Commercialization and De-Risking for Agricultural Transformation Project (CDAT) targets to increase the use of irrigation and commercialization among producers and agribusiness firms across the country. CDAT will also increase access to agriculture finance and insurance.

The project will support the government provide services and create an enabling environment for the private actor throughout the agricultural value chain.

“It has come at the right time when our farmers are currently facing fertilizer challenges. It is a smart way for the Government of Rwanda and the World Bank to have initiated this project,” said Hon. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources.

CDAT will finance public investments in the seeds sector, develop and rehabilitate irrigation systems on 17,673 ha and apply land husbandry technologies on 10,986 ha in surrounding water catchment areas to increase productivity and promote climate smart agriculture.

The project will also support commercialization by helping farmers access markets and availing matching grants for investments in mechanization, post-harvest infrastructure and processing equipment. 

A CDAT youth innovation challenge fund has also been set aside for investment in particularly innovative solutions for the sector that can be brought to scale.

“Commercializing agriculture is essential for Rwanda’s economic transformation and poverty reduction and requires investments that enhance productivity in a sustainable manner, and that generate agriculture value addition and off-farm jobs,” said Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda.

“The Commercialization and De-risking for Agricultural Transformation Project aims to generate marketable volumes of produce and facilitate their access to market, while de-risking and leveraging private sector investment in value generating agri-food activities”.

In partnership with financial institutions, the project will seek to enhance access to affordable financial services and products in the agricultural sector by providing long-term financing and reducing risks and challenges faced by agricultural value chains through strengthening market linkages and scaling up agriculture insurance.

It is expected that about 235,977 households including women and youth will benefit from the project’s value chain and infrastructure development, 2,235 from agriculture finance, while 575,000 and 75,000 farmers will benefit from CDAT’s crop and livestock insurance respectively.

The 5-year Project will initially be implemented in 37 sites located in 16 districts; Muhanga, Nyanza, Ruhango, Huye, Gisagara and Nyaruguru in Southern Province, Kayonza, Bugesera, Gatsibo, Nyagatare and Kirehe in Eastern Province, Rusizi and Nyamasheke in Western Province, Gicumbi in Northern Province, Gasabo and Kicukiro in the City of Kigali.

CDAT is funded by the World Bank Group via International Development Association (IDA), with 75% of the funds being a loan to the Government of Rwanda while the rest of the funds were issued as grants.  The project will be implemented by the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) and the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD).