ITI

Project story

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Help 1,000 farmers to build a better future in Rwanda

The Inclusive Trading Initiative (ITI) Foundation is already for six years active in East Rwanda. In the past 3 years (2019-2021) ITI has trained approximately 1,000 farmers to improve their farming methods and business practices. Through higher purchase price and selection of the right crops the farmers are now earning a decent income. Besides that through improving their farming method the farmers are less influenced by climate change. The program is growing and has more potential. This has led to the decision to further scale up and include farmers in neighbouring communities to become part of this program. That is fantastic news ….!

It is a unique program with a focus on poor farmers. Rwanda is relatively small and the population is density, resulting in a situation a farmer has an average of 0.3 hectares of land available to earn the family income. Due to the changing climate, farmers are faced with additional challenges. In recent years, rainfall patterns have been difficult to predict and shifted. It is therefore not surprising that 70% of the rural population lives below the poverty line. This means that these people earn less than $1.60 per day.

The ITI approach

  • Implement sustainable cultivation techniques, natural irrigation, biodiversity and soil management;
  • Organizational improvement of the farming communities;
  • Strengthen the market position.

The ITI approach focuses on three elements:Cultivation techniques. The basis of everything is a good foundation and for the farmer this is fertile soil that can absorb water well and contain it. By applying a combination of crops (biodiversity), the farmer achieves various benefits. Not only does he spread his risks, but he also ensures that the ground does not become exhausted which is often the case by mono cropping. Covering the soil with a thick layer of organic material makes it harder for moisture to evaporate and better moistens the soil when it rains. The farmer is also trained in the use of good seeds and seedlings, the use of compost and how diseases can be prevented and naturally combated.

Organizational improvement. The program provides for two levels of organizational improvement: at the individual level by developing a good farm business plan and at the community level by stimulating the farmers to work together in a cooperative. This allows farmers to gain a better market position, but also pear to pear learning takes place whereby farmers strengthen each other.

Market position. As ITI, we help farmers market their crops. In the areas where ITI works, we focus on the cultivation of bananas (Matoki) and Chilli peppers. The market for Matoki is huge in Rwanda because it is widely used in daily food. The Chilli peppers are bought from the farmers and marketed in Europe by a specifically for this purpose established company, Spices Rwanda ltd.

Impact

Currently, ITI works with 1,000 farmers who are divided over 4 cooperatives. The farmers' success also attracts others to become active in the program. In order to expand the program, ITI wants to grow over the next 2 years to a group of 2,000 farmers who are active in the cultivation of Chilli peppers and Matoki bananas. With this project, the farmers are able to quadruple their income, thus lifting them out of poverty on a structural basis.

"When the project started I had a dream that the program would face difficulties in the beginning but would eventually have impact on the lives of many. Recently I realised that this was not just an ordinary dream. Ben, manager of the agricultural program in Rwanda."

Projectbudget

  • Training 1,000 additional farmers in improved farming techniques;
  • Training cooperatives in improving planning and management;
  • Installing sun-dryers necessary for the drying process of the Chilli peppers;
  • Improving the local warehouses/warehouses to prevent post harvest losses;
  • The donation is only around USD 175 per farmer. Can we count on you?

To enable growth, MissionInvest is actively looking for one or more donors who are interested in this project. In addition to financial input, there is plenty of room to visit the project and/or to contribute ideas in the development of the program. In order to realize our plans, we would like to raise sufficient financial resources before the end of 2022. This requires a one-time donation of $ 175,000. With that budget we can then carry out the following activities:

Creating ripples of hope