Community Revenue Enhancement Through Agricultural Technology Extension (CREATE), 2013-2019
Donors: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HEINEKEN International, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Partners: HEINEKEN, ProDev, World Food Program (WFP), Rwanda Rural Rehabilitation Initiative (RWARRI)
To reduce poverty in Rwanda through increasing agricultural capacity in rural households and limiting the dependency on imported commodities. The project aims 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
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 BRALIRWA’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 an adjunct which is 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 imported maize. The CREATE project is training farmers on improved agronomic practices, facilitating access to seed and fertilizer, arranging contracts between cooperatives and the buyer, and training farmers on post-harvest handling. The project also conducts demonstrations on new production technologies, such as the use of maize hybrids and micro-nutrients.
The key objective of the CREATE Rwanda project is to increase maize productivity and establish linkages from farmers, to processors and to HEINEKEN’s operating company, BRALIRWA. CREATE Rwanda’s activities started in the second half of 2014 and the first harvest took place during the first half of 2015. Since then, the number of cooperatives has increased from 20 to 50, and the number of participating households from 3,256 to 15,598. The volume of maize sold to Minimex's maize storage and drying facility ProDev has increased from 693 tons in 2015 to 4,718 tons in 2018, thanks to increases in the cultivated area and maize productivity from less than 2.0 MT/ha to an average of 3.0 MT/ha.
The expansion of activities is done partly in collaboration with RWARRI (Rwanda Rural Rehabilitation Initiative), a local NGO supported by the World Food Program under its Farm to Market Alliance (FTMA) program. In addition to the activities originally planned by the CREATE project, new components were added in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) including: 1) capacity building of cooperatives; 2) introduction of small-scale irrigation technologies; and 3) introduction of equipment to reduce post-harvest losses (supported by the USAID/PSDAG).