Rwanda Takes Lion Share in New Zealand’s Smallholder Farmers Support

Potatoes farmers selling their products in Musanze

Government of New Zealand has committed NZD 4,200,000 (est Rwf3billion) to Rwanda from 2020-2023 as part of its new partnership with the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA), in support of smallholder farmers across Africa.

The contribution is part of the NZD6.8million meant for Africa (Est Rwf4.8billion), provided through the World Food Programme (WFP) and will enable WFP to scale up its support over the next 3 years targeting 200,000 smallholder farmers in rural areas across Rwanda.

The earmarked funding will also work to sustainably transform agricultural markets to become more efficient, resilient and profitable.

This partnership will support lifting smallholder farmers in Rwanda out of poverty while also transforming regional food systems for longer-term sustainability and food security,” said Olivia Owen, the acting Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of New Zealand to Rwanda.  

Farm to Market Alliance is an initiative with a mission to create a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector that empowers farmers, forges strong markets and improves global food security.

This is done through its value chain solution- Predictable markets, Affordable finance, Technologies and quality inputs, Handling and storage solutions (PATH) that supports African farming families to transition to commercial agriculture through four integrated strategic pathways.

In Rwanda, FtMA has been active since late 2015.

Through FtMA Rwanda, smallholder farmers are supported with a range of services to promote farming as a business, use of improved inputs and enhancing crop post-harvest management. 

Smallholder farmers and their cooperatives are then linked to formal financial services that allow them to scale-up and enhance their production.  

Once crops are harvested, cooperatives are linked directly to public and private sector formal off-takers to sell their quality harvests at premium market prices. 

“With the support of FtMA, WFP has already been able to support more than 85,000 smallholder farmers in Rwanda since 2016.   This multi-year contribution will allow us to continue with this critical work and scale-up to reach additional farmers,” said Edith Heines, WFP Rwanda Representative and Country Director.

 The announcement of new funding to the Farm to Market Alliance comes at a time when access to food is deteriorating for millions of people as the world continues to grapple with the economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

Adrian vander Knaap, the FtMA Managing Director said they uniquely positioned to bring together both the public and private sectors to not only address the immediate crisis, but to build commercially sustainable food systems beyond the current pandemic.




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