Cooperation Ituze Increases Food Security in Rwanda
In 1980, the U.S. Congress established the U.S. African Development Foundation or UADF to provide grants to support solutions to economic problems in Sub-Saharan Africa. The solutions are made and led by Africans. Till date, UADF has provided $3.5 million in grants to Rwanda that have provided increased economic independence and increased food security for more than 200 cassava farmers in southern Rwanda by giving them better access to markets and higher incomes.
A crop purchase fund was set up under Cooperation Ituze so that it can grow and buy more cassava (or manioc) to process into high-quality flour in its milling factory. Cooperation Ituze has become self-sufficient and profitable by purchasing disease-resistant plants, expanding its drying facilities, and setting up rainwater harvesting systems. The rainwater harvesting systems establish a reliable water supply which enables Ituze to process cassavas year round. The Rwandan government constructed additional drying facilities because of Ituze’s success. Additional progress was made with agricultural training in cassava multiplication, modern agronomic practices, and soil maintenance.
Ituze’s sales revenues increased from $8,300 to 2012’s total of $115,000 in less than three years. This is an increase of 2,700% since its inception in 2010. Land cultivation has doubled to 175 hectares which allows farmers to grow cassavas for both their families’ consumption and processing into flour. The flour is packaged in Kigali, the nation’s capital, and sold in local supermarkets.
This breakthrough with Cooperation Ituze has far-reaching effects: more people are able to afford a nutritious meal and more children are free to go to school.
Source: IIP Digital