Over the past year, DWFI developed a new multifaceted research, teaching and engagement program in Rwanda. The institute’s policy team has been working to understand different approaches to irrigation service provision for smallholder farmers. A goal is to determine what types of irrigation service are currently present, how they’re functioning, and whether they will be able to scale from a business and sustainability perspective.
Additionally, the team surveyed the broader landscape of agricultural entrepreneurship in Rwanda to understand the nascent community’s needs. DWFI also developed and tested multiple experiential learning programs to allow University of Nebraska students to gain an understanding of the challenges of farmer-led irrigation and smallholder agriculture in Rwanda and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. The DWFI team was able to hit the ground running with their work in Rwanda by leveraging existing connections through University of Nebraska programs.