More than 800 small-scale irrigation projects will receive financial subsidies under a new Rwandan government initiative to forge partnerships between farmers, credit institutions and service providers.
According to state minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources, Tony Nsanganira, the projects will be linked to financial institutions and service providers for a further analysis before they can be funded.
“We are currently categorizing them and closely working with credit institutions and development partners to ensure they get the necessary support,” Nsanganira said, speaking during a consultative meeting with stakeholders on possibilities of financing small-scale irrigation projects in Kigali.
Government last year put a 50 per cent subsidy on importation of irrigation equipment, to boost productivity and agro exports.
The Ministry has so far registered over 800 projects seeking to benefit from subsidies.
Nsanganira urged farmers to come up with business plans that can attract funding to increase production to achieve the desired output.
Judith Aguga, the Access to Finance Rwanda technical director, said supporting small irrigation schemes will help de-risk the sector.
“However, for the scheme to succeed, both financial institutions and service providers must be allowed to deal directly with farmers. Government can then play the supportive role from the background,” Aguga said.
The Rwandan government wants to develop at least 10,000 hectares of irrigated land by 2017/18. In that light, the ministry has an annual target of 2000 hectares every year to be able to cover more than 50,000 hectares by 2018.
This article first appeared HERE