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A new model that supports small rural farmers living uphill or far from surface water sources to irrigate.

The Problems Ijabo Solves

Only 1.6% of Rwandan arable land is irrigated.


 Farmers living high on the hills and far from surface water are unable to irrigate and only rely on rainwater to grow. 


121,000 Ha in Rwanda are suitable for small scale irrigation. 


The land is highly fragmented in Rwanda with the average farmer holding 0.4 to 0.7 ha of land only



Farmers can increase by more than 50% their yields if they irrigate. A Crop Competitiveness Assessment in 2016 found that yields for several crops in Rwanda were less than half of their potential.

From Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture: "The causes of current low levels of productivity and profitability are multiple, but often related to landfragmentation (small farm-sizes). A rural household cultivates on average 0.6 ha, and has 2-5 animals, hence the plots are often too small to produce a marketable surplus to invest in future production." 

The Problem

Our Solution

Ijabo combines groups of small farmers and installs a full water system for the farmers to share and irrigate from. The group of farmers should at least have 2 ha total combined land of a maximum of 10 ha. 

The farmers only pay for water used on their farms while the system owner, a franchisee or one of the farmers, collects the income to repay the system cost and make a profit for themselves. This model creates income from water sales and from increased yields by the farmers, allowing for shared value creation. 

Our Solution

Cost On The Farmer Per Season Per Crop 

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How It Works

How it Works: A Partnership

The creation of each new Mini-grid involves three key players: The users, the funding partners and Water Access Rwanda.

The impact

Improved Income From Same Plot Due to Cultivation of Higher Value Crops. 

Land use consolidation. 


The Funding Partners

Whether just interested in the impact (philanthropic), the financial return or both, funding is the first key enabler for a new mini-grid. The demand for water is basic and very high yet capital is scarce. 

Funders only contribute to the establishment of the mini-grid while operation and maintenance are assured by us.

Through Agreements with funders, we agree on deliverables including impact, financial return and potential revenue share for their desired destination. 

Funders are also permanently recognized on the new infrastructure. 

Water Access Rwanda

We undertake the following responsibilities: 

  • Construction of the water point

  • Hiring and training water sellers 

  • Operations and maintenance of the water point through monthly preventive care, water quality monitoring and fast response to outages. 

  • Collect a reasonable price for the water using smart prepaid meters.

  • Expand the network and provide more individuals with access to the water in their homes. 

  • Impact monitoring through period surveys and monthly data analysis. 

  • obtain necessary groundwater extraction permits.

The Community

The community is an essential partner of the mini-grids. Through their water purchases, the mini-grid will grow and thrive. 

But before we can establish one we have to : 

  • Have a collaboration framework with the local leadership (usually through an MoU with the district)

  • Receive passage from the commnuity when laying pipes

  • Receive land from the community. 


We'd love to hear from you

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