Feed the Future Hinga Weze project commits to address farmers challenges including lack of information on weather forecast, lack of access to quality seeds and market for their farm produce through the Farm Service Center Model.
The Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) Farm Service Center model is a market-oriented, private sector model for agro-dealers and agro-input retailers, based on a One Stop Centre that increases access to agricultural inputs, services and output marketing by small and medium size farmers with an emphasis to boost smallholders farmers productivity and income.
“Through the Farm Service Centers, farmers have better access to quality and affordable agricultural inputs, services and technical assistance compared to traditional retail systems that emphasize products for larger commercial farms, lack of consistency in product quality, and provide limited advisory services", said Daniel Gies, Chief of Party and USAID Contractor/Hinga Weze.
The Feed the Future Hinga Weze activity is a five-year, $32.6 million USAID-funded project that aims to sustainably increase smallholder farmers income, improve the nutritional status of women and children, and increase the resilience of Rwanda’s agricultural and food systems to a changing climate.
Twenty thousand farmers from three initial districts including Gatsibo, Nyabihu and Nyamagabe will benefit from this pilot project, and were selected basing on the fact that they have high rate of stunting.
Daniel Gies said that the conception of such project came after realizing challenges faced by a big number of lower families such as stunting. In Rwanda, most people are facing stunting and malnutrition, we conducted analysis to see where access to inputs is facing challenges, facing high cost, facing low efficiency of distribution.
The project initially will help agro-dealers to construct their Farm Service Center Model to solve agri-business related challenges.
Hinga Weze officials announced that agro-dealers will benefit 75 percent of their business construction plan and the all stuffs to be used in Farm Service Center Model, while 25 percent will be covered by agro-dealers.
Hinga weze project is currently working in ten districts with high stunting rate including Gatsibo, Kayonza, Bugesera and Ngoma from Eastern Province; Nyabihu, Rutsiro, Ngororero, Nyamasheke and Karongi from Western Province and Nyamagabe from South.
Emmanuel Mugabo, an agro-dealer from Nyabihu District said that the project will enable farmers to boost their businesses and improve citizens welfare. "This project will enable us to expand our agriculture, we have been experiencing countless obstacles such as low quality of seeds and shortage of other agriculture inputs," he said.
Hinga Weze implements holistic interventions that target the interrelated issues of under nutrition, food insecurity and barriers to agricultural productivity by focusing on the sustainable intensification of Rwandan smallholder farming systems, with an emphasis on climate-smart, nutrition-sensitive approaches.
It is utilizing innovative approaches to enhance the production of five value chains such as high-iron beans, orange flesh sweet potato (OFSP), Irish potato, maize, and horticulture.
By 2022, the project will benefit over 700,000 smallholder farmers in those ten targeted districts. 560,000 households benefiting from increased agricultural production and improved nutrition. 535,000 farmers applying improved technologies or management practices. 200,000 increase their yields and 4,600 Ha of land benefiting from improved soil and water management practices.
Rwanyange Rene Anthere