The New Zealand government has made a contribution of NZD 6,800,000 for the linkage of smallholder farmers in Rwanda. The Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) proudly welcomes the Government of New Zealand as a new partner with its generous multi-year commitment of NZD 6,800,000 million to support smallholder farmers across Africa, with NZD 4,200,000 committed to Rwanda from 2020-2023.

The contribution provided through the World Food Programme (WFP) will enable WFP to scale up its support over the next 3 years targeting 200,000 smallholder farmers in rural areas across Rwanda while working to sustainably transform agricultural markets to become more efficient, resilient, and profitable.

“New Zealand is proud to partner with the Farm to Market Alliance. This partnership will support lifting smallholder farmers in Rwanda out of poverty while also transforming regional food systems for longer-term sustainability and food security,” said Olivia Owen, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of New Zealand to Rwanda. 

Through FtMA Rwanda, smallholder farmers are supported with a range of services to promote farming as a business, use of improved inputs, and enhancing crop post-harvest management. Smallholder farmers and their cooperatives are then linked to formal financial services that allow them to scale-up and enhance their production. Once crops are harvested, cooperatives are linked directly to public and private sector formal off-takers to sell their quality harvests at premium market prices. 

“With the support of FtMA, WFP has already been able to support more than 85,000 smallholder farmers in Rwanda since 2016. This multi-year contribution will allow us to continue with this critical work and scale-up to reach additional farmers,” noted Edith Heines, WFP Rwanda Representative, and Country Director.

The announcement of new funding to the Farm to Market Alliance comes at a time when access to food is deteriorating for millions of people as the world continues to grapple with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we must build more resilient, inclusive, and fair food systems now. At Farm to Market Alliance we are uniquely positioned to bring together both the public and private sectors to not only address the immediate crisis, but to build commercially sustainable food systems beyond the current pandemic. We welcome New Zealand as a new partner to address the urgent issues facing smallholder farmers and food systems in Rwanda and beyond,” says Adrian van der Knaap, FtMA Managing Director.