Rwanda, represented by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has entered into a joint venture with Netafim, an Israeli irrigation technology firm, for the development of the Gabiro Agribusiness Hub Project (GAHP).
The GAHP aims to create a holistic and commercial agricultural ecosystem by developing modern value chain over an area of approximately 15,600 hectares of arable land with advanced water infrastructure, cutting-edge irrigation systems, high-value agro-processing operations and other agricultural technology activities across the value chain.
During the first phase, approximately US$66.5 million will be invested in the project over a period of 18 months to develop 5,600 hectares.
The GAHP will support the production of crops for local consumption (staple crops), export and agricultural value-added products such as pastes, powders, oils and beverages intended mostly for export. It will also support local livestock especially in the community irrigation aspect of the project.
RDB Chief Executive Officer, Clare Akamanzi said the project will significantly enhance private sector investments in Rwanda’s agricultural sector, mitigate the risks of climate change and food security, contribute to job creation, increase export of value-added products and enhance rural community development and livelihood.
“Netafim has successfully implemented the various components of the business model of the GAHP in other parts of the world and we are confident its execution in Rwanda will provide a means to small farmers to use innovative and efficient drip irrigation and fertigation technologies in crop production.”
In addition, she said, it will help “to averting water scarcity, increasing productivity, incomes and household food security.”