Agriculture is the main economic activity of the Rwandan population, covering 84% of all activities. About 90 % of all food consumed in Rwanda comes from local agricultural production. However, the high population growth has resulted in the shortage of arable land, and arable land per household in Rwanda is limited to only 0.76 hectares. In addition to the shortage of arable land, agriculture in Rwanda remains largely subsistence agriculture with 99.9% dominated by traditional means of agriculture, and heavily dependent on rain water (about 98%).
As a consequence of food insecurity and shortage of arable land, the population nearest to natural conservation areas tend to destroy these areas and biodiversity in search of food and land. The people most exposed to these challenges are the historically marginalized people, who historically for many years lived in these natural conservation forests. REDO is working together with over 3000 people living in these conditions to overcome these challenges.
Farming Irish Potatoes and mushrooms
REDO has worked in facilitating historically marginalised people planting and harvesting over 6 tonnes of Irish potatoes and 250 tubes of champignons mushrooms for food security and income generation. Irish potato is a food crop, consumed daily by the Rwandan population in general. Both food items contribute in the production of incomes, for the reinforcement of households’ economy and poverty reduction but also in job creation.
Seed Nurseries and Artificial Kitchen Gardens
REDO provides training for men and women on how to develop vegetable seed nurseries and the construction of kitchen gardens – these are home gardens that have the ability to supply most of the non-staple foods that a family needs every day of the year, including roots, tubers, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and herbs. This is especially important in rural areas where people have limited income-earning opportunities and poor access to markets. These activities, together with the income generating activities have helped improve our beneficiaries’ access to food. The percentage of households taking at least 2 meals a day has increased significantly as a result.