Karongi is one of the Sustainable Agriculture Intensification and Food security Project (SAIP) intervention sites across Rwanda. SAIP’s main development objective is to increase agricultural productivity, market access, and food security of the targeted beneficiaries in the project intervention areas across the country.

The site lies between Rutsiro and Karongi Districts, in Western Province. It approximately takes two and a half hours to drive from Kigali city. The site lies along the main road from Kigali to Karongi district. 

Command area subjected to hillside irrigation

The site covers a total area of 1086Ha that was developed using comprehensive husbandry technologies that included several land management techniques (soil bunds, terraces, cut-off drains, water ways,

afforestation and reforestation) as well as strengthening terraces with risers to develop appropriate land husbandry practices for both rain-fed and irrigated agriculture which provided modern agricultural techniques for higher production of annual and perennial crops 

Land husbandry treatment using comprehensive land husbandry technologies have helped farmers

to control soil erosion and increase crop yield.

Out of the total area treated with comprehensive land husbandry technologies, 272Ha are subjected to rain

fed agriculture, 145Ha gross area in the command area was developed for hillside irrigation.

 Night storage reservoir helps farmers to irrigate crops grown in the command area. Water availability has enabled farmers to focus more on higher export-value crops.

Farmers irrigating crops in the command area. Improved irrigation systems have enabled farmers to access enough water to secure bumper harvests and, now they are shifting to cultivation of higher export-value crops

One of Karongi farmers standing next to her snow peas produce. Farmers have also ventured into horticulture as a result of sufficient water for hillside irrigation.

In the site, there are 2,074 Farmers’ households (1,211 males & 863 females). Farmers have been organized into 110 Self Help Groups (SHGs) spread across 7 zones. SHGs have since formed 2 strong cooperatives and 1 Water Users Association (WUA).

Farmers in a Self Help Group (SHG) meeting. Belonging to SHG has laid the groundwork for a thriving, sustainable development that can help farming families lift themselves out of poverty. 

WAUs are responsible for water management techniques including, rehabilitation of irrigation network canals, supervision of water distribution, pricing and water rights systems in order to conserve water and achieve higher water efficiency productivity among beneficiaries (farmers)

One of the cooperative leadership committee taking an oath of office after being elected. Cooperatives are playing a crucial role in the hunger and poverty alleviation, in the promotion of social harmony and in the achievement of more equitable economic growth.

The project also supported farmers with the construction of 4 post harvest storage facilities, 1 dryer and 1 horticulture produce collection centre with a cold room.

One of the constructed storage facilities. As harvesting period begins, farmers are encouraged to ensure proper post-harvest practices to help reduce the incidence of post-harvest losses.

Grain drying and storage facility constructed in Karongi. Grain drying and proper storage facility have enabled farmers to improve their capacity to meet market needs and also promote quality of the produce

Horticulture yield in one of the constructed post-harvest storage facilities in Karongi

Sacks of Irish potatoes' yield in a post-harvest storage in Karongi a head of marketing. Strengthening farmers’ access to markets has enhanced their efforts to adopt new practices, increase their productivity and become more profitable than they ever would have imagined.

Post harvest facilities have helped farmers to improve food production and reduce post-harvest losses.