Improving market systems for agriculture in Rwanda (IMSAR) ran from May 2018 - March 2022. Its objective was to commercialise agriculture by improving agricultural market systems to benefit poor rural households as producers, employees and consumers, and small and medium size businesses.
Using the MSD approach, IMSAR identified the root causes preventing the poor from contributing to and benefitting from growth, and overall agriculture markets from performing effectively.
Despite challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent reduction in the budget, as well as a shorter timeline than most MSD programmes, IMSAR achieved significant results in terms of numbers of new or improved products or services available to farmers and agribusinesses, which sustainably increased sales of agribusinesses and incomes of smallholder farmers.
IMSAR intervened across three supporting functions: agricultural inputs, finance and aggregation.
IMSAR implemented 34 interventions in partnership with 31 market actors, including agribusinesses, financial institutions, service providers and government bodies, which led to 20 innovations reaching markets. Through these interventions, IMSAR:
- Increased smallholder farmers’ use of quality agricultural inputs to enhance productivity at the farm level, hence increasing volume and quality of agricultural produce. IMSAR focused on crop specific fertilisers, tractor services targeting cooperatives, insect-based animal feed and oyster mushrooms inputs and extension.
- Increased access to agri-lending to enable smallholder farmers and agribusinesses to invest in, sustain and expand their operations, through innovations with banks, MFIs and fintechs.
- Improved aggregation models to reduce post-harvest losses and secure sufficient quality and quantity of produce to meet the demand from domestic and international markets and introduced services to boost competitiveness.