Cyriaque Ndagijimana was a modest Rwandan farmer in Bugesera, a district in Eastern Province, Rwanda, known for its many marshes. While he managed TO provide for his family, he was tired of struggling to make ends meet. I wasn’t especially poor,” he says modestly. “But I couldn’t afford to send my three children to school.”
Then he heard about the Bugesera Agricultural Development Support Project. When the government developed marshlands in the Bugesera area as part of the regional agricultural project, Ndagijimana was able to secure a patch of land where he began growing rice. The success of his rice farms have enabled him to buy other land to expand his banana plantation and launch new business ventures. Today, Ndagijimana is also a livestock farmer.
The Bugesera Agricultural Development Support Project, financed by the African Development Fund with a $14.79 million grant approved in 2006, provided irrigation and water catchment basin development. This has given farmers like Cyriaque the means to combat drought, improve their living conditions, and enhance food security in the region. In total, nearly 15,000 families have benefited.
Ambitious and full of plans, Cyriaque has just bought a block of three apartments, which he plans to turn into retail stores.
Everyone here has benefited from the project,” he says. And today, all the children in the area go to school.