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Sustainable Agricultural Intensification for Improved Livelihoods, Food Security and Nutrition Project (SAIP)

$26.3 million to enhance agricultural productivity, value chain development, and food and nutrition security of targeted rural populations in an environmentally sustainable manner.


In Rwanda, the agriculture sector is steadily growing at 5.8% per year, accounting for about 33% of GDP, employing about 68% of the labor force, and generating 90% of the national food requirements. Around half of the country is covered by hills, and between them are streams and marshlands. Rwanda has 589,711 ha of irrigation potential out of which 47% is on marshlands and 63% is on hillsides, however only 7.5% has been successfully developed to date. The prevalent low productivity rain-fed crop production is worsened by the effects of climate change, like droughts or short heavy rains often causing flash floods. To sustain cultivation and productivity on such steep-slopes, comprehensive climate smart watershed management has become a necessity, not a choice.


The Sustainable Agricultural Intensification for Improved Livelihoods, Food Security, and Nutrition Project (SAIP) consolidates and expands the results of the Land Husbandry, Water Harvesting, and Hillside Irrigation Project (LWH) and other projects focused on the sustainability and self-reliance of farmers’ organizations, cooperatives, and rural institutions providing services to farmers, who are the main drivers of rural development. About 38,000 farmer households will directly benefit from the project, while 200,000 family members of the targeted households will be indirect beneficiaries, of whom approximately 88,000 are expected to be women. SAIP strengthens the capacity of existing farmers’ organizations and public extension services, strengthens agricultural value chains, and emphasizes postharvest handling, processing, and marketing systems as well as linkages with the private sector. The project also scales up irrigation activities and increases irrigation outreach, increases the availability of consumption of nutritional foods, diversifies
income-generation means, and supports rural financial institutions to provide services. The project focuses on the following value chains: (a) vegetables and fruits for the domestic, regional, and international markets; (b) maize for domestic and regional markets; (c) Irish potato for domestic and regional markets; and (d) beans for domestic markets. 

Project Status






Focus area

  • Climate Change

Supervising entity

  • FAO
  • World Bank


About 38,000 farmer households will directly benefit from the project, while 200,000 family members of the targeted households will be indirect beneficiaries, of whom approximately 88,000 are expected to be women. As of December 2019, 181,324 people have benefitted from the project (42 percent women). SAIP has supported 7,492 hectares of land on improved production, of which 1,516 hectares (20 percent) are climate smart; provided 20,034 smallholders with productivity enhancement support, of whom 36.6 percent are women; supported 555 producer-based organizations; constructed or rehabilitate 9 post-harvest facilities (cold rooms); and provided 17,932 people with improved nutrition services and products, of whom 10,084 are women. The project also has trained the seven beneficiary WUAs on good operation and maintenance of irrigated schemes; as part of the training, the WUAs
developed operation, management, and maintenance plans and have since begun implementing them.

Work with Us

The Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP) is dedicated to fighting hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in low-income countries by supporting resilient and sustainable agricultural systems that benefit and empower poor and vulnerable smallholder farmers. Since its inception in 2010, GAFSP has received contributions totaling $1.7 billion from Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with funds going to countries that have strategic, innovative, and credible plans already in place to improve agricultural productivity and food security.

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