Community Revenue Enhancement Through Agricultural Technology Extension (CREATE), 2013-2018
Donors: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HEINEKEN International, International Finance Corporation
Partners: HEINEKEN, ProDev, WFP, RWARRI
To reduce poverty in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone through increasing agricultural capacity in rural households and limiting the dependency of imported commodities. We aim to rebuild agricultural production and increase food security by linking smallholder farmers to urban markets, restoring essential social services, and rebuilding local community cohesion and infrastructure.
What we do
Agriculture employs about 88 percent of the economically active population in Rwanda and is the main earner of foreign exchange, supplying up to 80% of exports. However, agriculture production is hindered due to issues of soil fertility and erosion. Soil fertility has deteriorated dramatically over time due to land scarcity and Rwanda’s high population density. Fertilizer use, both organic and inorganic, also remains low.
EUCORD is partnering with HEINEKEN and its subsidiary BRALIRWA to assist with the implementation of the Community Revenue Enhancement through Agricultural Technology Extension project otherwise known as CREATE. Support by the Ministry is used to: (a) integrate groups of smallholder farmers into HEINEKEN’s supply chain; and (b) train these farming families in good agricultural practices. This not only helps to substitute imported raw materials by local ones (thereby saving scarce foreign exchange resources) but also helps establish local supply chains, which transfer purchasing power from the urban middle class to the rural poor.
The CREATE Rwanda project aims to limit the dependency on imported maize in Rwanda. BRALIRWA uses maize grits as adjunct which are supplied by a local miller, Minimex, which aside grits also produces maize flour for human consumption and animal feed. In order to meet Minimex’s maize needs, the amount of locally sourced maize needs to be increased to reduce the quantity of maize imported. The CREATE project is training farmers’ cooperatives on improved agronomic practices, arranging access to seed and fertilizer, arranging contracts between cooperatives and the buyer, and facilitating maize collection, drying and transport. Farmers are trained in improved drying, shelling, grading and storage techniques. The project also conducts demonstrations on maize hybrids and fertilization.
During the 2016/17 season, a total of 4,325 MT of maize was sold by CREATE networked cooperatives. In partnership with IFC, new activities started in late-2015 to enhance the project’s impact by: 1) building the management capacity of cooperatives; 2) establishing small scale irrigation pilots with 5 cooperatives on 38 ha; and 3) improving cooperatives’ access to finance.