Japan Government has donated USD 18.2 million (Rwf 15 billion) to support an irrigation program in Rwamagana district.
The support will be used to renovate and construct four water reservoirs and renovate other facilities in Rwamagana marshlands on 400 hectares, renovating 30 kilometers of irrigation canals, renovating roads and offering trainings on irrigation techniques among others.
During the ceremony of signing agreements held on Friday, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN),Claver Gatete said that the project is an additional to the one in Ngoma district irrigating 300 hectares of rice also funded by Japan.
He highlighted that the program will support the government of Rwanda to execute performance contract of irrigating 100,000 hectares by 2018 to address drought and become climate change resilient.
“This support comes at a time when we are heavily investing in irrigation. It will help to solve draught related problems especially in the Eastern Province which is the most affected,” he said.
Information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources indicates that 47,000 hectares are currently under irrigation, below the targeted 60,000 hectares in 2018.
Japan ambassador to Rwanda, Takayuki Miyashita has said that the support is meant to boost agricultural production which contributes 33% to the country’s GDP.