Nyaruguru District: From Chickens to Prosperity

Odette Bakomerezaho's Inspiring Journey

PRISM, a partnership initiative implemented by the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) and funded by IFAD and ENABEL, with Heifer International Rwanda as
the implementing partner and co-financer, is a five-year project with the overarching goal of
alleviating poverty by empowering marginalized rural men, women, and youth to
actively engage in the transformation of Rwanda's livestock sector and fortify their resilience. Nyaruguru District is one of the 15 project intervention districts. Odette Bakomerezaho, a resilient mother of three from Viro village, Gakoma village,Kibeho sector of Nyaruguru district, is a shining
example of how determination and the right support can transform lives. She is among the
beneficiaries of the PRISM project, which has given her not just chickens, but hope for a
brighter future.Initially receiving 10 chickens, Odette, with her hard work and dedication, has now expanded her flock to 24, including 8 laying hens. The eggs have become a source of nutrition for her
family, helping them combat malnutrition. The surplus is sold at the market, providing funds
for essentials like clothes, body lotion, and the like.Pictured above are some of Odette's chicken
But the benefits don't stop there. Odette also uses the chickens to obtain fertilizer for her
fields, ensuring a bountiful harvest. "Last season while growing beans, I used 100kg of
chicken manure that I had found. Odette sells some of the eggs to earn money
Now, I am positive that there will be an increased production," she shares, highlighting
the impact of this integrated approach to farming.Expressing her gratitude, Odette acknowledges
the pivotal role of the Government of Rwanda in implementing the PRISM project, which is
uplifting those in the first category of poverty.She has even expanded her ventures, recently
purchasing a pig with the proceeds from egg sales.Picture above is chicken manure that helps Odette
fertilize her fields Despite her success, Odette faces challenges,such as the cost and availability of chicken feed.However, she remains undeterred, aiming to further increase her poultry production and
eventually acquire a cow within five years.Odette's story is not just about chickens; it's about resilience, empowerment, and the transformative power of sustainable agriculture. Her journey serves as an
inspiration, showing that with determination and support, anyone can break free from
poverty and build a better future. So far, the PRISM project has provided 6600 chickens to 672 families. The initial target of PRISM is 26,355 households: 23,400 poor rural households belonging to UBUDEHE Categories 1 and 2; 1,530 youth; and 1,425 farmers under productive alliances.


A Rwandan Woman's Rise from Poverty

From Humble Beginnings to Bountiful Harvest: A Rwandan Woman's Rise from Poverty

In the heart of Rwanda's Gisagara district,nestled amidst verdant hills, livedNyiranzabaho Anne Maria. A year ago, her life was a constant struggle. With a young family to raise, Anne Maria relied on uncertain casual labor, the weight of providing for her loved ones a heavy burden on her shoulders.
Then came a beacon of hope - the PRISM project, a partnership programme implemented
by the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), and jointly funded by IFAD and the Belgian Development Agency (ENABEL), with Heifer International as an implementing partner and co-financer, and Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgique (VSFB) as an implementing partner. This program aims to empower rural families like Anne Maria's, equipping them with the
tools and knowledge to rise above poverty. Through PRISM project interventions, Anne
Maria joined the Dukorerehamwe Mbogo selfhelp group, a cornerstone of the project's
success. Here, she wasn't alone. She found a community of support, a shared purpose - to
build a brighter future. The group provided not just camaraderie but also invaluable training,
instilling in Anne Maria the Heifer International 12 Cornerstones, principles that emphasized
responsible animal management and resource stewardship.Armed with this newfound knowledge, Anne Maria received a seemingly simple gift - a single pig. But in her hands, this pig became a
catalyst for change. With meticulous care and the guidance of theself-help group, Anne Maria nurtured her pig. It thrived, and soon, a litter of eight piglets arrived, a testament to her dedication.This wasn't just a heart-warming sight; it was an opportunity. Anne Maria, with a keen mind for business, saw the potential for growth. She sold some piglets, reinvesting the proceeds into her farm. She built a sturdy pigsty, ensuring the well-being of her animals. With the remaining income, she catered to her family's immediate needs while setting aside a portion for savings.Anne Maria's commitment was unwavering.
Her pig farrowed again, this time with seven piglets. This success allowed her to access a loan from the self-help group, a testament to the trust she had built within the community. With these funds, she diversified her livestock, acquiring a young cow and two goats. This wasn't just about acquiring more animals; it was a strategic move towards financial security and a richer harvest.The manure from her diversified livestock provided vital nutrients for her crops. The land, once yielding a meager 42 kilograms of beans per acre, flourished under Anne Maria's care.The harvest soared to a remarkable 120 kilograms, a testament to the interconnectedness of her efforts.Anne Maria's transformation was remarkable.She was no longer dependent on casual labor.She had secured health insurance for her family,a safety net that provided immense peace of mind. More importantly, she had instilled a
sense of self-reliance in her household.Anne Maria's story is a beacon of hope, a testament to the power of knowledge, hard work, and a supportive community. As she sets her sights on an even brighter future, aiming to expand her livestock farm to 10 pigs and 3 cows
within three years, one thing is certain - her journey from humble beginnings to a bountiful
harvest is an inspiration to all.ZABANYINSHI Gérard-PRISM Project District Coordinator/Gisagara District


KIIWP2 Trains Facilitators to Boost Rural Livelihoods

Kayonza District-Empowering Farmers: KIIWP2 Trains Facilitators to Boost Rural Livelihoods

The goal of Kayonza Irrigation and Integrated Watershed Management Project (KIIWP)2's KIIWP is to
“contribute to poverty reduction in the droughtprone Eastern Province of Rwanda." The project development objective is to "improve
the food security and incomes of at least 40,000 rural households on a sustainable basis and build their climate resilience.
In a bid to transform rural livelihoods and combat poverty in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, the Kayonza Irrigation and Integrated
Watershed Management Project (KIIWP)2 implemented by the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB)recently conducted a comprehensive training
session for 90 Facilitators of Farmer Field Schools (FFS).The two-day workshop, held from 12th to 13th March 2024, aimed to equip facilitators with crucial financial skills essential for effective
business development within the Farming as a Business (FaaB) concept under the KIIWP project.
The training focused on several key areas, including the demonstration of the farmers’ simulation game, planning and implementation
strategies, data recording techniques, and effective marketing practices. Participants were also engaged in developing training plans for on-site FaaB sessions with FFS group members
and were equipped with skills to generate competitive business ideas eligible for the KIIWP matching grant opportunity.Training of FFS facilitators on data recording went
smoothly One of the primary objectives of the workshop was to enhance participants' understanding of
farming as a business and equip them with tools to overcome challenges such as poor planning,climate variability, post-harvest losses, and market price fluctuations.
FFS facilitators followed the training intently Looking ahead, the project plans to conduct further in-depth training sessions after planting,
bringing together 30 FFS for each class to ensure a deeper understanding and practical application of the concepts learned. The training will continue in the following weeks,
involving a total of 180 FFS facilitators.The KIIWP2 project covers nine drought-prone sectors in Kayonza District, namely Gahini,Kabare, Kabarondo, Murama, Murundi, Mwiri,
Ndego, Ruramira, and Rwinkwavu. This initiative is part of KIIWP2's overarching goal to improve food security and incomes for at least 40,000 rural households in the region,
ultimately building their climate resilience and contributing to poverty reduction.



The PRISM Project Development Objective (PDO) is to reduce poverty by empowering poor rural men, women and youth to participate in the transformation of the Rwanda livestock sub-sector and to enhance their resilience. Specifically, the program seeks to increase the competitiveness and profitability of the small livestock sub-sector for the provision of quality products from smallholder producers to domestic and regional consumers.
Project component 2 features support for small livestock value chain development.
Against that background, the PRISM beneficiaries who reside in Rwamiko Sector of Gicumbi district affirm that the project is helping them get out of the abject poverty they used to live in. In an interview with the media, they asserted that before they were given chickens they were malnourished due to a lack of a balanced diet. 
Ribera Gratien is one of the recipients of chickens from the PRISM project. He bears witness to the PRISM project interventions and how they helped fellow beneficiaries deal with malnutrition and stunting issues at large.
“We were in abject poverty and could hardly get ourselves out of it. Before we were given chickens, we had a malnourished child but that has already become history ever since we started interacting with the PRISM Project.

Now everyone in the family eats one egg a day. Everybody looks healthy at home. We owe all of this to PRISM.” Avers Ribera. 
He adds that the ten chickens he received last year have been bringing in some money and that helped him pass on the same number to his fellow project beneficiaries so they also have a taste of eggs and share the progress with him.
Rwamiko poultry farmers set up the eggs selling point thanks to the increase in milk production
In Gicumbi district, the PRISM project has already achieved activities including the construction of a modern small livestock market, a pig slab, and a proximity veterinary post.
The initial target of PRISM is 26,355 households: 23,400 poor rural households belonging to UBUDEHE Categories 1 and 2; 1530 youth and 1425 farmers under productive alliances. 
The total Project cost amounts to US$ 45.64 million (USD 14.9 M for IFAD Loan, USD 17.43 M for ENABEL Grant, USD 4.68 for Heifer International) and USD 8.63 M for other partners. 





RISM is a partnership project implemented by RAB, and jointly supported by IFAD and ENABEL, with Heifer International as implementing partner and co-financer. The five-year project aims to reduce poverty by empowering poor rural women, women, and youth to participate in the Rwanda livestock sector's transformation and enhance their resilience. Burera district is among the 15 Districts of PRISM intervention.
Against that background, on 5th April 2023, the Passing on the Gift ceremony was launched in Gahunga sector of Burera district. The POG launch ceremony was presided over by Ms Uwanyirigira Marie Chantal, the Mayor of Burera District alongside Mr Nshokeyinka Joseph, the PRISM Project Operations Manager, security organs, NCDA representatives, committees in charge of small livestock from district to sector levels, farmers and many other officials. 
The event was also attended by journalists from 11 media outlets including the national broadcaster, many other print media and online news sites.
get out of poverty. The households are the PRISM beneficiaries that were selected taking into account the selection criteria that had been set out.  
On 6th April 2023, the activity continued in Rugengabali sector where 68 beneficiaries passed on 680 chickens to 68 other needy households.
In both sectors, each family received 10 chickens (4 cockerels and 6 pullets) and all the chickens distributed have one year's insurance.
Aside from the chickens, the recipients also received chicken feed amounting to 100 kgs each to help them cater for their chickens.
Passing on the Gift philosophy is a cornerstone in the PRISM Project aimed at creating a cycle of giving by transforming recipients into donors.
It is expected that this five-year project (PRISM) will provide over 330 thousand chickens to needy families, the main focus being on changing the people’s mindset. 

Samuel NSENGIMANA-PRISMField Coordinator/Burera District  





Most of graduation ceremonies mark the end of schooling process, but obviously mark the beginning of assuming new work responsibilities. This was the commission dedicated to 27 master trainers who have been trained 3 yearlong by the Rwanda Dairy Development project RDDP through the Food and Agriculture Organization.

The graduation ceremony of these fore front Livestock intensification pioneers was held on 26th march 2021 at Rubona RAB station, and was officiated by Dr uwituze Solange the Deputy Director General of Animal Resources Research & Technology  Transfer, with the presence of the FAO representative in Rwanda and other various guests. 

According to Dr Solange, the graduation marks a very challenging and long way to go through towards livestock intensification, especially cattle breeding.

“You are now the front fighters of cattle development in this country, all farmers eyes are on you. Work hard to lift cattle farming to another level.” Commissioned Dr Solange to the newly graduates.

The team of graduates signed 6 performance contracts before the Deputy Director General of Animal Resources Research & Technology Transfer, and pledged to fulfill their commitment by the end of 2021.

Master Trainers who graduated started the L-FFS season long training from 2017 to March 2021. The training was

conducted by National Master Trainers with the technical support provided by FAO later in December 2020.

LFFS is an acronym of Livestock Farmer Field School. With the introduction of the Rwanda Dairy Development Project RDDP, a sustainable behavior change approach was needed to lead the country’s effort towards livestock intensification

Through the Livestock Farmer Field Schools, RAB/RDDP has assisted dairy farmers and farm assistants to engage in a process of hands-on field based learning over a production cycle of a cow covering “calf to calf” as the timeframe. Trainings focuses on the adoption of improved technologies and practices in dairy farming and milk handling using practical learning methodologies to help dairy farmers and farm assistants acquire and develop their knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in dairy management.

In addition to the technical topics, other households training methodologies including the Gender Action Learning Systems and the Value Based Holistic Community Development approach of Heifer International were integrated into L-FFS and have contributed to the empowerment and social, financial and human capital development of established farmer groups and their members. 

In its 4 years of operation in 12 districts of intervention, RDDP has trained 27 L-FFS Master Trainers, 65 L-FFS facilitators, 1647 L-FFS groups established, 41751 farmer members (25405 men: 61% and 16246 women:39%, with 13% youth).

Through the above numbers RDDP introduced the Dissemination of forages seeds and planting materials where at least 5,000Ha of land covered from 2018A to 2021A (December 2020) and more than 15 forage varieties disseminated), plus trainings on forage conservation. Among varieties of forage seeds distributed: Chloris gayana, Napier spp, Desmodium spp, Alfalfa, Mucuna, Calliandra, Leucaena, Brachiaria spp, Panicum Spp, Cencrus ciliaris

The graduation of Master trainers aimed at Empowerment of trained L-FFS Master trainers to graduate themselves the farmer facilitators; Celebration of achievements realized by the L-FFS during the past 4 years of implementation, New commitments and performance contracts for graduated master trainers; Validation of the RDDP/L-FFS approach and sharing the Rwandan experience with the World  

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