Different stakeholders implementing the Rural Women Economic Empowerment project (RWEE) in Nyaruguru District visited the area on 2nd October 2021 where they met district officials and farmers.
The visit led by Madam Fatou Aminata Lo, UN Women Representative in Rwanda was to tour activities under the project that supports rural women in the district and assess the progress of the project.
Madam Fatou appraised the development and progress of the project to uplift rural women to the district officials.
She underlined the importance of working together emphasizing the role played by different partners implementing the project and the role played by Nyaruguru District. Among the stakeholders were Rwanda Development Organisation (RDO), Imbuto Foundation, Duterimbere and INADES Formation.
UN Women Country Representative emphasized that this is a Joint Programme on accelerating progress towards the economic empowerment of rural women which also works in collaboration with three other UN Agencies; WFP, FAO and IFAD.
Leon Ndungutse, the acting Mayor promised continued support to UN Women and other stakeholders. He said that Nyaruguru District will continue to work with partners who want to uplift the lives of the citizens.
He appreciated the interventions that have been carried out under the rural women economic empowerment project.
The project aims at improving women’s food and nutrition security, increases their incomes, enhances their decision-making power and fosters a conducive policy environment for their economic empowerment.
Diana Mugwaneza, the Programs Officer at RDO highlighted some of the support her organisation provides through farmer cooperatives. RDO has field officers who provide technical support to the farmers to increase productivity.
RDO also provides trainings to the cooperatives on good agriculture practises and gender equality. The cooperatives selected under the project are mostly in lower-value subsistence agriculture with more women members.
Cooperatives are also given skills on how to do small income generating projects where those that are competitive are given seed money to implement them.
This is all aimed to secure rural women’s livelihoods and rights in the context of sustainable development. This model was developed because in Rwanda women are underrepresented in the non-farm wage sector but overrepresented in lower-value subsistence agriculture.
Anastasia Nyandwi, the president of Bimpinduka Cooperative in Nyagisozi sector, Nyaruguru District receiving the visitors demonstrated the cooperative’s activities that are given support through RWEE project.
The cooperative which was given a greenhouse to improve their farming activities uses it to grow tomatoes. With technical support from RDO, this season the cooperative was able to get a bumper harvest. Previous tomatoes were victims of bacterial wilt that couldn’t allow crops to grow till harvesting.
“The support you have given us is changing our lives, we are now growing more confident from the trainings and we have acquired new skills, our nutrition has improved and we now have reserves for the market,” Nyandwi told the UN Women Country Representative and other stakeholders present.
The cooperative which has 109 members with 89 women primarily grows vegetables and has nursery beds for fruit trees. They attributed their increased activities and success in raising productivity to UN Women support through RDO, Imbuto Foundation, Duterimbere and INADES.