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 to irriggate and only rely on rain water to grow. 



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


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." 


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 to 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. 


Cost On The Farmer Per Season Per Crop 

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How it Works : A Partnership

The creation of each new Ijabo requires the key partnership of the following entities. 


The System Owner

Whether a business person, or one of the farmers, the system owner and operator does the following:

  • Obtain farmers as customers,

  • collect payment from farmers

  • Operate the pump and assure energy cost when solar is not being used. 

  • Pay royalties and financing of the system depening on the modalities of the system construction. 

Water Access Rwanda

We undertake the following responsibilties: 

  • Provide data and evaluation of pump utilization and ensure financial sustainability of model

  • Provide irrigation system including 24 month warranty

  • Provide guidance, expertise and help

  • Provide training and fiscal accounting

  • Facilitate the establishment of new systems by mobilizing capital. 

The Farmers

The farmers commit to using the system for their irrigation needs and this may mean switching to a higher value horticulture crop that will best take advantage of the reliability of water.


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

Land use consolidation. 



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