The Rwandan rural landscape used to look bleak. Mountain slopes were dotted with small dry patches of land where the topsoil layer was eroding away. Crops were small, leaving farmers with nothing to sell and families with poor food security. Now the situation looks different. The areas of land that used to yield small crops are now flourishing, thanks to a project funded by the World Bank. Soil erosion has reduced considerably between 2010 and 2016, and since the establishment of over 3 000 farmer groups, farmers’ incomes have risen. Good results have been obtained by introducing land use plans, agricultural terraces, sustainable farming techniques and water-saving irrigation methods.
The aim of the project is to restore over 10 000 hectares of eroded land back into productive use. Between 2010 and 2016 a total of 2 000 hectares of forest has been planted to protect water catchment areas. This project benefits nearly 300 000 Rwandan people, half of whom are women. Women’s participation in the project has been increased by offering them tailored training on issues relating to economy, decision-making and nutrition. Finland supports the work of the World Bank in 2010–2018.
Photo: Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta