According to the Rwanda Environment Management Authority [REMA], (2009), over 70% of the land of Rwanda is used for agriculture. However, Rwanda also has one of the highest population densities in Africa. According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (2015), in 2012, there were about 645 inhabitants per square kilometer. Because the population of Rwanda continues to increase, this puts pressure on the land and the ability of families to grow their own food. As a result, household access to food varies from one family to another – while some families are able to rely on food from their own farms and gardens, many other Rwandese rely heavily on food from the market. In fact, market dependence for food country-wide is high, with purchases accounting for 70% of food consumed (Rwanda CFSVA, 2015).
At Gardens for Health International (GHI) we embrace this challenge through our health and agriculture programs that aim to help smallholder farmers use even the smallest plots of lands to effectively produce diversified foods. Season after season, we see our model working for the most financially and land constrained families in Rwanda.
Felicitha Ayinkamiye, a mother of three, in Busogo, Northern Rwanda notes “Before joining GHI, I used to spend a lot of money purchasing food at the market. But after joining the program, they provided knowledge of how we can grow those vegetables ourselves and now I am no longer spending that money, but I am growing them at my home.”
Even though she has only a small plot of land, though GHI’s agriculture trainings and home garden package, Felicitha was able to start her first kitchen garden behind her home.
As part of GHI’s Home Garden Package we provide each family in our program with small livestock (chickens or rabbits) in addition to two seasons of seeds and seedlings. The package is designed to promote both dietary diversity and biodiversity. Specifically, we provide each family that comes through our program with an avocado seedling, orange flesh sweet potatoes, and chili peppers. We also encourage families to grow indigenous vegetables that are rich in nutrients and grow well in the local soil. We don’t only focus of supporting our partner families with seeds, but we also give them the knowledge they need to make an informed decision about which crops will grow best on their land, most improve their diet, and earn the most income at local markets.
Jeanne d’ Arc, a mother of two children, based in Nothern Province of Rwanda in Musanze district (Karwasa) says, “we used to spend a lot of money on vegetables but with trainings we have got from GHI, we are now able to grow all by ourselves and our expenses have decreased.” This speaks to the effect our Home Garden Package has on helping families in our program access nutrient dense and diverse foods in their own backyards.
Felicitha adds, “Before I joined GHI, I used to feed my children potatoes and beans only, without anything else. But after joining GHI, I have started to cook a balanced diet which is made up of four food colors.” She continues, “I am thankful for being part of GHI, because I have learned a lot, which is helping to improve the health status of my family. Since I have started feeding my children four food colors, now they are healthy and they are successful even at school.”
Many people don’t believe that smallholder famers can create a solution to malnutrition, but the reality is that it is possible! Through our Health Center program, which combines comprehensive health education, targeted agricultural support, and access to inputs, GHI is happy to expand its impacts to the larger Rwandese community. In Rwanda’s development goals, “eradicating poverty and hunger” is at its core. This is also connected to GHI’s vision to achieve “Zero Hunger” and eradicate the chronic childhood malnutrition in Rwanda and in the Region.
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Blog by GHI Translation and Communications Intern, Abraham Murutampunzi
Nk’uko tubikesha ikigo cy’igihugu gishinzwe kwita kubidukikuje REMA, hejuru ya 70% by’ubutaka mu Rwanda bukoreshwa mu bikorwa by’ubuhinzi. Kurundi ruhande urwanda rukaba rubarirwa mu bihugu bifite abaturage benshi k’umugabane w’afurika. Nkuko tubikesha ikigo cy’ibarurisha mibare mu Rwanda (NISR), mu mwaka wa 2012 urwanda rwari rufite ubucucike bungana n’abaturage 645 kuri kilometero kare. Kuberako abaturage b’urwanda barimo gukomeza kwiyongera, ibi bituma abantu batabona agahenge mu gihe bashaka kwihingira ibyo kurya ndetse n’ubutaka ntibuhabwe agahenge. Nanone, uburyo imiryango ibasha kwironkera ibyo kurya bigiye bitandukana kuva k’umuryango umwe kugeza k’uwundi. Hari imiryango ishobora kwihaza mu biribwa babivanye mu mirima yabo, mugihe hari n’abandi bagera kuri 70% babona ibyo kurya ar’uko babihashye kw’isoko. Ubushakashati bwerekana ko 70% y’ibiryo biribwa n’abaturage mugihugu cyose bituraka kw’isoko (Rwanda CFSVA, 2015).
Mu murima w’ubuzima (GHI) twita kuri iki kibazo binyujijwe muri gahunda z’ubuzima n’ubuhinzi zose zigamije gufasha abahinzi bo hasi gukoresha ubutaka buto bafite babubyaza umusaruro, kandi bahinga ibyo kurya bitandukanye. Uko ibihembwe bigenda bisimburana, tubona imikorere yacu igenda ikemura imbogamizi zerekeranye n’amafaranga ndetse n’ubutaka mu Rwanda.
Felicitha Ayinkamiye, umubyeyi w’abana batatu, utuye mu ntara y’amajyaruguru, ho mu karere ka Musanze (Busogo) yagize ati: “Mbere yuko njya m’umurima w’ubuzima, nahoraga ntakaza amafaranga menshi mpaha ibyo kurya kw’isoko. Ariko nyuma yo kujya m’umurima w’ubuzima, bampaye ubumenyi bumfasha kuba nanjye nshobora kuba na kwihingira imboga kandi ntabwo ngitakaza y’amafaranga ahubwo ndabyihingira murugo iwanjye.”
Nubwo yar’ afite ubutaka buto, amahugurwa yo m’ umurima w’ ubuzima na gahunda zerekeranye n’akarima kigikoni zitangwa n’umurima w’ubuzima, Felicitha yashoboye kwiyubakira akarima k’igikoni inyuma y’inzu ye.
Nkabimwe bigize gahunda yerekeranye n’akarima k’igikoni m’Umurima w’ubuzima dutanga amatungo magufi yo korora (inkoko n’inkwavu) kuri buri muryango uri muri gahunda y’umurima w’ubuzima. Ibi byiyongera ku bihembwe bibiri bahabwa mo imbuto. Iyi gahunda yateguwe kugirango izamure imirire myiza mu miryango. Muri make, dushikiriza buri muryango uri muri porogaramu yacu ingemwe z’avoka, ibijumba bya orange, n’urusenda. Nanone dushishikariza imiryango guhinga ibihingwa gakondo bikungahaye ku ntungamubiri kandi bishobora kwera ku butaka bwo mugihugu. Ntabwo twibanda gusa kugufasha imiryango kubona imbuto/ingemwe, ahubwo nanone tubahereza ubumenyi bakenera mugihe bafata ibyemezo kubijyanye n’ ibihingwa babona bizakura neza kubutaka bwabo, ibihingwa bishobora kuzamura imirire myiza, kandi nanone ibihingwa bizatuma binjiza amafaranga gihe babijyanye ku masoko y’ imbere mu gihugu.
Jeanne d’Arc, n’ umubyeyi w’abana babiri, atuye mu ntara y’amajyaruguru ho mukarere ka Musanze (Karwasa) yagize ati: “Twajyaga dutakaza amafaranga menshi duhaha imboga ariko kubwo amahugurwa twitabiriye m’umurima w’ubuzima ubu dushobora kwihingira imboga twebwe ubwacu kandi ibyo twatakazaga duhaha byaragabanyutse.” Ibi byo ubwabyo birivugira ku mpinduka gahunda z’umurima wubuzima zazanye mu gufasha imiryango iri muri porogaramu yacu kugirango babone intungamubiri zihagije babivanye mu bihingwa hafi yingo zabo.
Felicitha nanone yagize ati: “Mbere yo kujya m’umurima w’ubuzima najyaga ngaburira abana banjye ibijumba nibishyimbo byonyine ntabindi nshizemo. Ariko nyuma yo kujya m’umurima w’ubuzima, natangiye kuzajya ntekera abana banjye indyo yuzuye igizwe n’amara ane.” Yakomeje agira ati: “Ndishimye cyane kuba ndi umunyamuryango w’umurima w’ubuzima kubera ko nigiye mo byinshi cyane bimfasha kuzamura imirire myiza mu muryango wanjye. Guhere igihe natangiriye guhereza abana banjye indyo yuzuye igizwe namabara ane, ubu bafite ubuzima bwiza kandi baratsinda kwishuri.”
Mubukuri abantu benshi ntibizera ko abahinzi bo hasi bashobora gushaka igisubizo ku kibazo cyimirire mibi, ariko ukuri guhari n’uko bishoboka cyane! Binyujijwe muri gahunda y’ubuzima ibumbira hamwe inyigisho z’ubuzima, n’ ubufasha bukenewe mu buhinzi, Umurima wubuzima (GHI) wishimiye kugeza ibikorwa byawo ku muryango mugari w’abanyarwanda. Mu ntego z’iterambere mu Rwanda, “kurandura inzara n’ubukene” nibyo bintu by’ibanze (rw.one.un.org, n.d.). Ibi nanone bikaba bifitanye isano n’intumbero y’umurima w’ubuzima yo kugera kuntego yitwa “Zero Hunger” cyangwa se kubaho ntanzara no kurandura ikibazo cy’imirire mibi mu Rwanda no Mukarere muri rusange.
Ushobora gutanga inkunga yawe uyu munsi k’umurima w’ubuzima kugira ngo ufashe imiryango myinshi mu Rwanda kubona ibryo bikungahaye ku ntunga mubiri.