Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on Wednesday launched a new project that will see Rwandans graduate from poverty.
The project titled “Strengthening the impact of Rwanda’s VUP-Public Works and beneficiaries’ graduation out of poverty”, will support rural households to improve their food and nutrition security and reducing rural poverty.
The project will promote the coherence between Social Protection and Agriculture to accelerate the graduation from poverty in Rwanda through the government’s new anti-poverty strategy ‘Minimum Package for graduation’. The Government of Rwanda believes the initiative will give vulnerable people an extra push out of poverty.
FAO Representative to Rwanda, Attaher Maiga said FAO will provide technical support to assist the Government of Rwanda in its efforts to increase the number of Rwandese people who graduate out of poverty in a sustainable way.
“Activities in the project are intended to have a catalytic function and will focus on practically and technically strengthening existing programmes, mostly within the VUP Public Works Minimum Package of Graduation programme” he noted.
Mr Maiga emphasised that Social Protection plays a fundamental role in improving food and nutrition security and reducing rural poverty. In itself however, social protection cannot eradicate poverty.
“By combining it with agriculture we build people’s resilience, which is the key to exiting the cycle of poverty, We are expecting to increase social protection amongst vulnerable populations including the youth which when neglected could fail agricultural development” he added.
FAO is also at the very same time expecting to look into how to promote other articulating factors that could improve social protection in agriculture in the near years.
The project will benefit 520 people in the four districts, namely; Nyabihu and Gakenke in the Eastern Province and, Rulindo and Rubavu in the Western Province.
In eighteen months the project will have invested Rwf286 million.
The project will ensure agriculture is added in the Minimum Package and use the intervention to promote Nutrition-sensitive agro-production.
FAO will provide farmers with agricultural inputs and on-farm support experts including veterinary officers have training on social protection and new agricultural aspects.
“It is a crucial project that will help in coherence between social protection and agriculture. This will be one of the short cuts to have most people above the poverty line. The project is a complement to speed the process of poverty reduction which is a long multifaceted process and comprise the link between social protection and the nutrition component in addressing agricultural coherence,” she said.
Uwamariya Odette noted that Rwandan needs such complementing projects that address agricultural needs to help the bigger percentage depending on agriculture to speed up the graduation from poverty.
Under its EDPRSII strategy, the Rwanda government has an ambitious target of reducing extreme poverty to at least 9% and 0% in 2020, and this will be achieved through increased partnership that can help farmers in poverty graduation process.