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FAO Rwanda Newsletter, March 2020 - Issue #1












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    Newsletter
    FAO Rwanda Newsletter, March 2021 - Issue #1
    Food systems in COVID-19 period, we celebrate food heroes
    2021
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    Rural women play a key role in the agriculture and food system, yet, besides the agriculture activities, they have to do home chores as well. FAO, through the Rural Women Economic Empowerment project (RWEE) distributed energy-efficient cooking stoves to reduce the workload and so that they may get time to take care of themselves. During COVID-19 restrictions in Rwanda, husbands have been supporting women with the household chores to reduce their workload. New projects were launched to support the government of Rwanda, such as, one that will introduce fertilizer recommendations to improve Rwanda’s soil fertility and increase food security for smallholder farmers. As the world emerges out of the COVID-19 crisis, we celebrate the efforts of all the farmers who have kept the food chain/system going, making sure people can still get food in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage people to eat fruits and vegetables to improve their immune system and promote healthy diets through the international year of fruits and vegetables running this year 2021.
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    Policy brief
    Enhancing the animal feed value chain for pig and poultry production in Rwanda 2023
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    Insufficient availability and access to affordable and nutritious animal feeds constitute the most severe problem in pig and poultry value chains in Rwanda. According to a policy study conducted in five districts of Rwanda in September and October 2022, this problem leads to increased malnutrition of pigs and poultry reared in the country, reduced number of pig and poultry populations due to drop out of farm owners from the business, increased number of thieves from pig and poultry farms, increased human malnutrition due to deficiency of animal resources proteins and of course increased poverty. Furthermore, this problem is aggravated by recent unusually high price fluctuations of animal feeds in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, pig starter feeds in Kigali costed 455 RWF/kg in September 2022, an increase of 82 percent from 250 RWF/kg in 2019. Feed price is considered as a major concern for farmers as well as feed millers. The root causes of this problem affect both the input and output sides of the animal feed value chain, including: 1. Low productivity in maize and soybeans in Rwanda compared to the Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation (PSTA4) and Livestock Master Plan targets, and competition between human consumption and use in animal feeding which leads to insufficient or expensive inputs in the feed industry. 2. Uneven availability of animal feeds across districts in Rwanda, especially in remote areas where prices for pig and poultry feeds are significantly higher than in areas around the feed mills that are concentrated in Kigali, Rwamagana and Musanze towns only. 3. Very weak distribution channels for animal feeds, particularly in remote areas, and a lack of trust regarding feed products quality. 4. Varying quality of animal feeds, with negative impacts on animal nutrition. 5. Limited collaboration among farmers and weak associations at farmer level, leading to inefficient procurement of animal feeds. 6. Weak collaboration between feed millers regarding import of feed inputs causing inefficient supply chain. 7. Fragile collaboration between farmers and feed millers
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    Project
    Support to the Government of Rwanda in Sustainable Control and Management of Fall Armyworm - TCP/RWA/3608 2020
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    With the Fall Armyworm (FAW) pest affecting over 80 crop species in Rwanda in 2017 alone, many farmers saw their yields decrease and incomes depleted. Despite pest management and containment efforts, FAW in Rwanda has remained active since then, given its resistance and adaptability to the country’s climate and ecology. FAW was reported in all of Rwanda’s 30 districts by April 2017, affecting an estimated 38 percent of all maize crops (equal to 17 521 hectares), an essential cash and food crop among the national population at large. This was mainly due to limited capacities of the national research and extension service systems in ensuring early detection and timely response. As a transboundary insect with rapid spreading potential due its natural biological nature – and easily transmitted through trade and commerce – the FAW was found to pose a threat to livestock as well due to FAW-infested feed. In response to the need for integrated pest management (IPM) and early warning systems, the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) requested FAO’s technical support to mitigate FAW-related damage to crops and mitigate their impact on food security. Thus, in strengthening the capacities of the RAB, MINAGRI and District Directorates of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the project ensured a holistic approach to combatting the FAW by leading inter-institutional coordination consultations, capacity assessments, information management initiatives and community-based trainings for community farmers, district and sector agronomists, extension agents, Farmer Field School (FFS) Facilitators and RAB researchers. In addition, FAO’s Fall Armyworm Early Warning System (FAMEWS) mobile application and IPM guidance principles helped drive the training-of-trainers activities. As such, the project’s combination of programmatic coordination, technical assistance and equipment delivery made for a timely response ahead of the September - December 2017 agriculturalseason.

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