Kayonza site 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 is located in Kayonza District, Eastern Province. It is two hour’s drive from Kigali city. Out of the total area treated with comprehensive land husbandry technologies, 875Ha are subjected to rain fed agriculture, 420Ha gross area in the command area was developed for hillside irrigation.

Maize grown in treated land in Kayonza SAIP site

Farmers' yield has significantly increased due to the use of improved seed inputs and the availability of water for all irrigation all year around. 


Water retaining dam has been constructed in the Project site in Kayonza to provide farmers with reliable and sufficient water for irrigation throughout the year.

Kayonza farmers irrigating horticultural crops during the dry season.

Better access to irrigation, increases their crop yields, and earns much-needed income

In the site, there are 3,319 Farmers’ households (2,138 males & 1,181 females). Farmers have been organized into 171 Self Help Groups (SHGs) spread across 15 zones. SHGs have since formed 1 strong and vibrant cooperative 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).

Members of the Water Users Association (WUA) learning more details from the Project engineers about water management - allocation/distribution and infrastructure maintenance.

SAIP has greatly contributed to improving incomes and food security in Kayonza through improved agricultural practices; increased production in irrigated hillsides, and creation of sustainable value chains. The project also supported farmers with the construction of 3 post harvest storage facilities, 7 dryers and 1 banana produce collection centre and as well as greenhouse.

Grain drying and storage facility constructed in the Project area. This structure enables farmers to improve their capacity to meet market needs and also promote quality of the produce. 

Post harvest storage facilities have been constructed to reduce the incidence of post-harvest losses. 

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

In order to increase the productivity of farmers in SAIP sites, the Project equipped farmers organized under cooperatives with greenhouse structures to enhance productivity, improve the quality of the yield and as well promote the use of technology.



With greenhouse farming, farmers are able to reduce the effects of unfavorable weather conditions such as high temperature, strong winds, heavy rainfall, hail storms and as well as pests and diseases on crops, hence leading to increased yield.