SC Johnson recently extended their public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Borlaug Institute, which works with Rwandan farmers. Since 2009, SC Johnson has worked with the two organizations to help improve the production of pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is a key component of insecticides, produced by SC Johnson, and is derived from the chrysanthemum flower.
During the four years of the project, Rwandan farmers have worked with individuals from the organizations on the drying process for the flower. Rwanda provides a substantial portion of the pyrethrum, mostly grown by subsistence farmers in the country. Key constraints in the value chain were identified as significantly limiting the potential of these farmers. The program has focused mostly on drying procedures, providing key agri-inputs, as well as infrastructure and storage for the production. Over the program’s lifetime, falling yields were reversed and the production nearly tripled.
This second phase of the project will build on first four years through continued focus on increasing yield and reducing post-harvest losses. In addition, the program will work with the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture research agency, the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), on research and development of weeding practices, soil fertility, and pest control.
Empowering female farmers will also be an area of emphasis, including promoting their participation in the development of cooperatives. The future work plan includes development of a women-run waste composting enterprise to increase women’s income and improve soil quality, thus also increasing the productivity of the pyrethrum fields. The raw material for this enterprise will be organic waste from a nearby marketplace. The compost produced will be available for purchase through the cooperatives and can be applied to farmers’ pyrethrum but also may be used on home gardens and other horticultural crops for either consumption or sale. Additionally, all cooperatives will be strengthened with improved communication and enhanced operational and financial management.
|Location||Rwanda, Central Africa|