Impacts and sustainability of irrigation in Rwanda

Policy brief Firms and Farms

  • Economic growth in Rwanda relies critically on agricultural growth, yet Rwanda’s agricultural sector faces critical constraints such as fragmentation, dependence on erratic rainfall, and challenging geography.
  • As the country’s agriculture is mostly rain-fed, production is exposed to climatic variation and unreliable rainfall. As such, irrigation presents a mechanism to intensify Rwanda’s agricultural production.
  • This brief estimates of the impacts of irrigation on farmers’ welfare, and tests the mechanisms designed to address concerns about the sustainability of irrigation investment.
  • The initial findings highlight large short-term effects of irrigation, and offer promising early evidence of impact of complementary interventions.
  • The researchers call for future research into the area of irrigation in future seasons and highlight how this study has implications for future agricultural policy in Rwanda.