The Climate Resilient Post-harvest and Agribusiness Support Project (PASP) including blended Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is a project co-financed by IFAD and Government of Rwanda (GoR) and operates under Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB). 

The project has been conceived to tackle the issues of postharvest losses in maize, beans, cassava, irish potatoes and dairy value chains. PASP project fully aligned with the National Post-Harvest Staple Crop Strategy whose fundamental vision was reducing food insecurity through an efficient post-harvest private sector system delivering staple foods to the people of Rwanda, under the guidance of the Government of Rwanda’s Vision 2020, EDPRS , and PSTA  III. The overall goal of PASP is to alleviate poverty, increase rural income and contribute to the overall economic development of Rwanda. 

In Kirehe District, the targeted direct beneficiaries are poor smallholder farmers located in all sectors of Kirehe District and engaged in production of Maize, Beans, Irish potatoes, Horticultural crops, Cassava and Dairy. Before PASP intervention, smallholder farmers, cooperatives and private actors were experiencing huge post harvest losses due to inadequate produce handling and  insufficient infrastructures and equipment.

To fill the postharvest gaps identified, PASP applied the financing model called “Public Private Producer Partnerships” –“4Ps” which has been recommended by IFAD and the Government of Rwanda in order to ease the burden faced by value chain actors to access postharvest financing.

PASP supported Mbonigaba

MBONIGABA Jean de Dieu lives in Kirehe and does grain business in Nasho Sector, Mulindi center. 

Nasho is a rural Sector characterized by a modern and climate smart agriculture. The presence of ultramodern solar-powered irrigation scheme makes the area a potential food basket of maize and beans in Kirehe District.

In December 2018, PASP conducted a districtwide awareness campaigns where PASP staff mobilized all interested value chain actors to invest in postharvest agribusiness. After a workshop held at Nasho Sector office, Mbonigaba Jean de Dieu identified a business idea of establishing a modern warehouse which would solve the issue of commodity postharvest losses experienced by farmers and business persons at Mulindi center.

The idea was welcomed and weeks later was developed into a bankable business plan which was fully developed to the support of PASP project. The “private agribusiness led business plan” was therefore approved for PASP grant through Business Development Fund (BDF) in mid-2019.

The total cost of Mbonigaba’s project including working capital is Rwf 119,696,286 in which Rwf 88,624,688 is the beneficiary contribution and Rwf 30,571,597 is PASP grant on capital investment and equipment.

The storage facility’s capacity is estimated to 2000 MT and is expected to operate in 2020B season.

Projected Impact of the investment 

Through PASP support, the farmers in Nasho, Mpanga Government Funded Irrigation Scheme and surrounding areas are capable to sell or store their produce at Mbonigaba’s new storage facility.

In addition to this, the 4Ps financing model created a win-win partnership that enabled COVAMIS Cooperative in Mpanga to have a memorandum of understanding with Mbonigaba in which the investor (Mbonigaba) agreed to provide modern maize shelling machines to the cooperative. 

Presently, Mbonigaba is partnering with Rwanda Grains and Cereals Corporation (RGCC) and another beans exporting company. 

Mbonigaba has a dream

Mbonigaba’s vision is to become a well know grain trader countrywide which will pave ways to have a business partnership with national big grain millers such as Africa Improved Foods (AIF) and MINIMEX. 

However, effective grain drying remains the only challenge he is facing today. Mbonigaba is requesting for advocacy to the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) or other government partners to finance his emerging idea to have a grain dryer. The modern drying technology, once acquired would tremendously help in minimizing aflatoxin contamination in food grains and increase the profits of both farmers and him.

The overall cost of postharvest investments supported by RAB/PASP through business plans financing in Kirehe District is 1.55 billion Rwandan Francs. The supported investments are grouped into processing plants, warehouses, drying grounds, equipment and transport facilities.