Kigali, 20 July 2022- Villagers in different 4 districts under the Advancing Citizen Engagement project (ACE project) have been urged to play a greater role in the implementation and evaluation of the ACE project which has been initiated to improve the livelihood conditions of citizens.
The request was made by different leaders during the official launch of the implementation phase of the ACE project which coincided with the reception of livestock animals across the 249 villages supported by the project.
Pig and cattle rearing projects attracted the choice of most of the small farms in different villages because of their uniqueness as quick impact projects. In Gicumbi District, the project was launched in Musenyi and Rurama Villages in a ceremony that was graced by the Vice Mayor in charge of social affairs, Mr. MBONYINTWALI Jean Marie Vianney.
To date, villagers in four target districts have received their livestock (pigs, sheep, and cattle). Villagers in Gicumbi, Huye, Burera, and Gakenke districts have so far purchased 3,172 pigs, 395 sheeps, 164 goats, and 22 cattle. Spark Microgrants has disbursed over 348 Frwmillion microgrants to finance the above projects in 7 sectors.
Speaking at the launch of the project in Gicumbi District, the Vice-Mayor in charge of social affairs praised Spark Microgrants for supporting the country’s efforts to implement social impact programs across different sectors in Rwanda.
“We are now undergoing a strong struggle for the well-being of the people, a battle for the development of our country. After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, people were connected to neither electricity nor water, and there were no infrastructure facilities, but today, the country is developing very fast, and different facilities are reaching out to everyone, with the aim of achieving prosperity, and social wellbeing of all Rwandans”, the Vice-Mayor told villagers during the reception of pigs.
Mr. MBONYITWALI said that in order to achieve this transformational agenda, Rwanda opted for innovative partnerships engaging different stakeholders.
“Our country has strengthened its innovative partnership with partners. Spark Microgrants is among our great partners who support us in this development journey. I am delighted to ask you to take advantage of this opportunity and ensure proper management of pigs offered to you as the foundation for your long-term development”, he stressed.
Talking about the benefits of the pig farming project, the Vice Mayor told villagers that pig farming is an ideal business since pigs have fast growth rates and are relatively easy to raise, do not require much space; have prolific breeding potential, and are docile.
“Pig farming is a great business. Pigs breed two to three times a year, and one pig can have 8 to 10 babies. After three months you can start selling baby pigs at a cost varying between RwF 15,000 to RwF 30,000, which means that in a year you can earn at least RwF 320,000. These factors not only lead to increased profitability but will surely assist in meeting the growing demand for meat in the future” he said.
Beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to Spark Microgrants for the microgrants they received, confirming that it will uplift them from poverty and help them to cover basic family needs such as health insurance, long-term saving- Ejo Heza, paying school fees for their children, and feeding the family among others.
Eugene, from Musenyi village in Mutete Sector, said that the “pig rearing project will lead him to the development and help his neighbors to benefit from it so that together they move towards sustainable development”.
“Piglets are going to help me to build up and attain food security, and also give piglets to my neighbors so that they too can achieve their development goals”, Vestine, Rurama village.
Felicien, Rurama Village, Mutete sector said “This pig will give me fertilizer to allow me to produce more food for my family and the market. Sometimes when you are given something without prior education on its use, it is wasted, but for us, we have learned not to waste the opportunity given to us”.
According to Clemence from Rurama Village, Mutete Sector “The pig project will help her take care of her family’s development, ensuring food security, progress out of poverty, and paying for health insurance on time”.
Valens from Kinyababa sector said that “they chose pig farming project because of its multiple benefits including growing very fast, providing fertilizers to increase agriculture production”
Esperance from Kinyababa Sector said that “pig rearing has higher potential to contribute to more economic gain for small, marginal farmers. It will help me improve my agricultural productivity.”
The Representative of Spark Microgrants in Gicumbi District, Mr. Munezero Victoire said that during the six-and-a-half months, villagers were being trained on how they will implement their pathway projects.
“Spark Microgrants has introduced new ways of working in villages to help them have the skills and capabilities to succeed during the implementation and post-implementation of their chosen projects. The 19 villages of the first round have received 37 pigs and they started the implementation. The amount they were supposed to receive was totaling RwF 4,560,000, but following the inflation of the dollar which affected the prices at the market, the amount has gone up, and each village will have to receive 4,605,600 now”, Victoire told residents in Mutete sector.
The Advancing Citizen Engagement Project (ACE) project aims to support small businesses to improve livelihoods for around 76,000 people across 249 rural poor villages through small grants. Target villages will receive microgrants two years in a row, in order to hone their planning skills, enhance livelihood benefits, and further build trust and confidence. Villagers have been trained on the basics of project management, basically on how to prepare a work plan, financial management as well as procurement, and the implementation of microgrants.
The FCAP ends with Spark Microgrants opting out of the process after fully handing over the relationship to local government officials trained to engage constructively with the village members on development planning and implementation.