Howard G. Buffett is an American businessman whose foundation has supported the development of a center pivot irrigation project in Nasho sector.
The Nasho Irrigation Scheme project is made of 63 center pivots irrigation system, irrigating 1,173 hectares belonging to 2,099 smallholder farmers.
The inauguration of the project was graced by President Paul Kagame in 2020. It was developed to modernize Rwanda’s agriculture sector and specifically improve smallholder farmers’ livelihoods.
The project, worth US$54 million, helps local farmers improve their livelihoods by enabling them to grow crops all year round, and allowing for a more efficient use of inputs, such as water and fertilizer, and by enhancing the yields and quality of the crops they grow.
Beneficiaries of the irrigation systems were grouped into a cooperative dubbed Nasho Irrigation Cooperative (NAICO); which utilize and maintain the infrastructure.
The scheme also consists of a solar power plant with a capacity of 3.3 megawatts to power the irrigation system, with 2.4 MW battery storage unit installed, to provide electricity to pump water and reduce the burden from farmers.
In addition, 144 houses (36 houses that are four-in-one) were constructed to resettle households from areas under pivot irrigation, and farm buildings.
About 24 km of existing roads within the project area were also widened and resurfaced and about 10 km of new roads created, which made it easy for installation of irrigation systems as well as transportation of inputs and produce.
Speaking at the inauguration of Nasho Irrigation Scheme last year, Kagame thanked Howard G. Buffett for the partnership that has become very productive in Rwanda’s agriculture and conservation to make a big difference for many lives.