IITA in Rwanda
Rwanda is a landlocked, resource-poor country and is bordered by the Democratic Republic of
the Congo to the west, Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, and Burundi to the south.
Rwanda has a temperate tropical highland climate, with lower temperatures than are typical for
equatorial countries due to its high elevation. About 87 percent of Rwandans live in rural areas
and the country is one of the most densely populated in Africa. with about 370 persons/km².
Rwanda’s main economic activity is agriculture responsible for over 70% of the country’s
export revenue and meeting 90% of the national food consumption needs. The agricultural
sector over the past years has experienced significant growth, with rural poverty falling from
61.9% to 48.7.
Together, tea and coffee make up nearly four-fifths of the country’s agricultural exports.
Barley for beer and green beans are also grown as cash crops; two-thirds of Rwanda’s farmers
grow beans. In the marshier areas, rice is becoming important.
IITA has a long history of collaboration with the Rwandan agricultural sector dating back
to 1980. Achievements from this collaboration include, provision of superior IITA varieties for
crops like cassava, banana and soybean (now widely grown in Rwanda), carrying out social
protection program, and building capacity and capabilities of the agricultural sector players.
Currency: Rwandan franc
Area (total): 26,338 km2
Population: 11.2 million
IITA staff: 5