The Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP) which was in its third phase of implementation before closing its activities on 30 October 2018, significantly supported improvement of agricultural productivity and poverty reduction since 2001.
RSSP was funded by the World Bank through a three-phase adaptable program loan (APL) supposed to be implemented in 17 years.
The first phase (RSSP1) became effective in 2001, while the second phase (RSSP2) became effective in 2008. The project completed the second phase’s activities in 10 months before the completion date (October 31, 2012) which enabled the acceleration of the third phase of the program. The third phase became effective on 20 June 2012, until 30 October 2018.
The RSSP3 extended and built upon the successful growth-stimulating RSSP activities of the first two phases, while emphasizing diversification of economic activities to increase and stabilize rural incomes. The design and implementation of RSSP3 was driven and much informed by lessons documented under RSSPS1 & 2. These lessons learnt reflected the need to improve famer’s business skills, close coordination between the infrastructures development and capacity building to enhance farmer’s capacity for the operation, and maintenance of the infrastructure investments, the need to provide adequate resources for the capacity building activities commensurate with the skills required to enable women and men to benefit from project support, and the financing gap that arose during the implementation of RSSP2 due to unforeseen inflation in construction costs and services (World Bank, 2012 ).
The first phase of RSSP-1 was to build the capacity needed to support the adoption of sustainable intensification technologies in developed marshlands and surrounding hillsides while the second phase focused on broadening and deepening the support provided to accelerate intensification and commercialization. RSSP3 excelled in marshland and adjacent hillsides development including irrigation schemes construction, which has boosted crop production, hence improved rural livelihoods and incomes.
The Project was implemented in the following sites countrywide; Gacaca, Kanyonyomba, Muvumba, Rwagitima, Rwinkwavu, Agasasa, base, Kinyegenyege, Mukunguri, Nyarubogo, Rugeramigozi, Runukangoma, Rusuli-Rwamugina, Rwasave, Bugarama, Cyiri, Mushaduka, Mirayi, Rugende, Karanganzi-Rwangingo, Kamiranzovu, Kirimbi and Nyirabirande-Ndongozi.