RAB Launches DeSIRA Land, Soil and Crop Information Services Project

From 10th to 18th November 2022, the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board launched the DeSIRA Land, Soil and Crop Information Services (LSC-IS) Project to support Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) project, which aims to develop sustainable land, soil, and crop-information hubs in national agricultural research organizations to enhance the effectiveness of national Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) and contribute to rural transformation and Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) in Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda).

Currently, LSC information is often not used effectively in decision-making, because it is not available in an organized and accessible form and is not seen as ‘owned’ by national organizations. Therefore, stakeholders at national and local levels, including smallholder farmers, are not well equipped with data and evidence to evaluate their policies, plans, and farming practices; improve and transform these in a climate-smart manner to make informed agricultural decisions.

The project aspires to have roadmaps for the design of an enhanced AKIS that reduces the gap between research and practice, to have created national and local multi-stakeholder partnerships, to constantly improve access to data and information necessary for climate-smarter production, and have dynamic LSC hubs that are actively used for policy development and decision making for Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) at national and local levels.

Addressing the event, Dr Charles Bucagu, the Deputy Director General in charge of Agriculture Development in RAB, said that the project is a continuation of projects that aim at providing soil information service that supports sustainable land use as far as agriculture is concerned.

“I call for the full engagement and involvement of all actors for the successful implementation of the project,” he added.

The DeSIRA LSC-IS Project is expected to provide requirements for the design of the LSC-IS hub, namely RwaSIS in Rwanda. The LSC hub will contribute to climate-relevant, productive and sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems in low and middle-income countries, by putting more science into the development, considering that the solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are context specific.

The DeSIRA Land, Soil and Crop Information Services to support the Climate Smart Agriculture project is funded by the EU DeSIRA program, the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other donors and is being implemented by national agricultural research institutes in three countries, namely: Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.

The Project’s launching workshops took place in Kigali City from 10th to 11th November 2022 on national level and from 13th to 18th November on sub-national level in Musanze and Rwamagana District.  The workshops fall in the third use case that aims to develop a soil/crop information system as a decision support tool to monitor the effects of an investment in soil fertility management on soil properties and crop yields as well as predicting landscape management over time. This also involves the aspect of data management policy.