Around 70% of people in Rwanda live in rural areas (2015) and half of this rural population live in poverty (2010). Agriculture represents a third of national GDP but employs approximately 70% of the population, mainly in subsistence-level farming. The commercial agriculture sector is also underdeveloped. While coffee and tea is established in Rwanda, small land holdings (averaging just 0.3ha) and Rwanda’s hilly topography limit the potential for large scale, mechanised production of arable crops, for example.
In 2016, AgDevCo began operating in Rwanda, making long-term debt and equity investments as part of DFID’s Improving Market Systems for Agriculture in Rwanda (IMSAR) programme. AgDevCo’s investment approach in Rwanda is to target value addition, export potential and agro-processing businesses producing trusted quality for the local and regional markets, as well as businesses that have strong links to smallholders and can be viable on small land areas.
• Population (2017, projection): 11,809,295
• Poverty incidence at national poverty levels (2010): 45%
• Life expectancy at birth (2015): 67 years
• GDP/Capita (2015): $697
• Agricultural share of GDP (2015): 33%
• % of population living in rural areas (2015): 71%
• % of rural population living in poverty (2010): 49%
• Food Security Ranking (2016): 87 out of 113
Sources: World Bank, National Institute of Statistics Rwanda, Global Food Security Index
AgDevCo’s $450,000 loan enables Kigali Farms to establish a modern button mushroom production facility and extend its work with local smallholder farmers.