Rwanda—President Paul Kagame and Howard Buffet on November 7th met to discuss the implementation of ongoing projects between the government of Rwanda and the Howard G. Buffet Foundation (HGBF).
Buffet is the chair and executive of the HGBF, a private charitable foundation working to improvise the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations.
In 2015, the American billionaire expressed an ambitious plan to invest up to $500 million to support Rwanda’s agricultural development.
The investment which was also made in phases, he said, would support agricultural development in the country.
With the funding, there are different projects that have since been operational in Rwanda with a focus on technology-led agricultural systems and community empowerment.
Some include Nasho Irrigation Scheme and the establishment of the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA).
The irrigation project which is worth $54 million started in 2017 in Kirehe District, consisting of a solar power plant with a capacity of 3.3 megawatts to power the irrigation system.
The project is made of 63 center pivots irrigation systems: irrigating 1,173c hectares belonging to 2,099 smallholder farmers.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, it has made a significant impact on the agriculture sector and the livelihoods of beneficiaries.
On the other hand, the institute that the farmers put in place aims to enable smallholder farmers to produce healthy, abundant, low-cost food in sustainable ways in addition to developing a profitable business.
With their campus located in Bugesera District, RICA offers a 3-year Bachelor of Science degree in conservation Agriculture, blending classroom learning with hands-on education.