Strengthening Community Based Climate change Adaptation of Smallholder Farmers in Bugesera District

Agriculture is a mainstay of the Rwandan economy, contributing about 39% of the GDP and sustaining most of its rural population. Rwanda is currently highly vulnerable to climate change as it is strongly reliant on rain-fed agriculture. According to the Rwanda’s 3rd National Communication Report to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), evidence indicates a significant increase in temperature and a decrease in rainfall amount and increasing records of extreme weather events in Rwanda. While less rainfall is expected across the country by 2050, the increase in temperatures also affects the productivity of the soil and ecosystems due to evapo-transpiration. Those at the greatest risk of climate change impacts are the food insecure and otherwise highly vulnerable (e.g. disease burdened) groups.

Areas where access to food is most problematic include the Eastern Curve, Bugesera, Southern Plateau and Lake Shore areas where over 45% of the households have reduced access to food.

Bugesera District is located in the densely populated low lands of the Eastern region, and greatly affected by long periods of drought which tend to become cyclical and persistent. Despite the many water bodies in the region, composed of lakes and rivers, Bugesera has suffered long dry spells with adverse impacts on livelihoods and welfare of the populace. Drought, combined with overgrazing and poor cultivation practices, has led to deterioration in pasture and arable land to the point where many have been abandoned.

This project as entitled “Strengthening Community Based Climate change Adaptation of smallholder farmers in Bugesera District “is aligned with Bugesera DDS, No 1: Increase agriculture productivity through improved technologies and value addition, Community landscape/seascape conservation  It further responds to the aim of Sustainable land management in production systems basically the agriculture.

This project targets at improving the livelihood of the smallholder farmers through modernizing the agriculture and promote market orientated agriculture. This is aligned to the Vision 2050, NST1. The fact that the project promotes the use of renewable energy for pumped irrigation fulfills the conditions as stated in Environment and Climate Change sub-sector plan (2018 – 2030), Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy and Five years strategic plan for the Environment and Natural Resources Sector – 2018 – 2024.

On the other hand, this project responds to the guidelines of NELSAP by encouraging the adoption of the most irrigation water use efficiency. The agroforestry promotion in Bugesera responds to the international UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Long-term training, raising awareness and capacity building by the various stakeholders to the farmers’ cooperative, which define the outcomes of this project, justify its sustainability essence.

APEFA has mobilized funds to Rwanda Government Board / UNDPGrant Program for a one year project aiming at improving the livelihood of the smallholder farmers through promoting the climate resilient measures in Bugesera District (Ngeruka sector).

The project will be implemented on 34 Ha and support more than 229 smallholder farmers grouped into 4 cooperatives (KOANGER, KOJYAMUNGE, KOTEMUNGE and KOPABINGE) located in Ngeruka Sector, Bugesera District.

Budget for the project

This project has a total budget of 36,092,100 Rwandan Francs, for both in-kind and cash, while seeking for the remaining funds estimated to Rwf 24,992,100 Rwandan Francs from RGB/UNDP

Partners

 Rwanda Government Board (RGB) /United Nations Development program, (UNDP) Grant Program.

Timeline of the project: This project is on-going it will be implemented in 12 months of 2020 and 2021.

Coverage

This project will cover Bugesera District (Ngeruka sector). The project will be implemented on 34 Ha and support more than 229 smallholder farmers grouped into 4 cooperatives (KOANGER, KOJYAMUNGE, KOTEMUNGE and KOPABINGE) located in Ngeruka Sector, Bugesera District.

Achievements/Objective

What does the project intend to accomplish

to strengthen resilience and address green growth for sustainable livelihoods through increasing fruit tree cover using green, and low carbon technologies, and inspire smallholder farmers to promote a market-oriented climate resilient agriculture practice.

Main Activities

Increase the awareness and capacity on drought mitigation and adaptation , Planting fruits and agro forestry trees for improved soil fertility construction of Kitchen Garden and supplying Improved cooking stove for the vulnerable smallholder farmers;

Install 2 water harvesting dams and install 4 solar pumps for green irrigation technologies

Capacity building in post-harvest handling process, storage and value chain

Challenges and Recommendation

The main challenge is the contested claims on buffer zone protection: The people continuously cultivate in buffer zone because there is no enough water harvesting as well as lack of sufficient irrigation system.

The recommendation is the increase Production and planting of agro forestry and  increase planting of fruits trees;  increase number of kitchen garden constructed in cooperative members purchase and install the solar powered irrigation systems Install water harvesting structure (4 pounds).

Expected project outcome  

The overall Outcomes of the project is to jointly support selected 4 farmers’ cooperative in Bugesera district, Ngeruka sector to raise their income by adopting the climate resilient agriculture.