Faced with the climate, the EIB lends €100m for sustainable agriculture in Rwanda

18 04 2024 | 07:37 Benoit-Ivan Wansi

Removing the obstacles to access to agricultural finance. This is the aim of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Bank of Kigali, which recently signed a €100 million partnership to facilitate the implementation of agro-ecology projects in Rwanda.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing €100 million to the Bank of Kigali for the transformation of agricultural systems in rural areas of Rwanda. The funding will be distributed gradually to agritech start-ups and agri-food industries, which often find it difficult to obtain credit from financial institutions.

The European envelope will enable them to “better prepare for extreme weather conditions, more frequent periods of drought and increased rainfall, which have economic, social and commercial implications” in this East African country, says the EIB.

The long-term objective is to develop inclusive and resilient value chains, particularly in horticulture and aquaculture, in order to guarantee food security for the 14 million Rwandans. Germany, which approves the initiative, has already promised technical assistance in assessing climate risks for beneficiary companies.

Agro-ecology, the secret of food security

With this disbursement of €100 million, the EIB is putting into practice one of the COP28 recommendations calling on development finance institutions to invest more in “food and agricultural systems, which are at the forefront of climate action”, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

And Rwanda has clearly understood this in recent years, initially encouraging training in agro-ecology. In the eastern town of Gahengeri, for example, 2,000 farmers have already received training in 2022 in the management of storage and drying facilities, as well as in irrigation and husking. This was part of a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative by Green Light, a subsidiary of the South Korean automotive group Hyundai Motor.