The Rwandan economy is mainly based on agriculture. Since agricultural
production in Rwanda depends almost exclusively on the quality of the
rainy season and specific temperature ranges, it makes the country
particularly vulnerable to climate variability and change.
The study objective of evaluating and costing the most suitable climate
change adaptation measures for this geographic context responds to the
Rwandan Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, 2008-2012
(EDPRS) (MINECOFIN 2007), in which climate change and its adverse
impacts were recently identified as a high priority.
This study has particularly focused on coffee and banana farming systems
and aimed at analysing shocks due to climate change from farmer to
policymaker perspectives. The study found that in the last 30 years,
Rwanda has experienced a series of climate fluctuations in terms of
frequency, intensity, and persistence of existing extremes. Heavy rains,
storms, heatwaves and droughts are the observed manifestations of
climate change in specific areas of Rwanda. Changing weather patterns
have an adverse impact on the country’s agricultural production and thus
on the country’s GDP.
Adaptation options for Rwanda include the following efficiency-enhancing
1. Adaption of crop calendars to new climate patterns (more effective
distribution of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides).
2. Investments in farming equipment.
3. Improvement of extension services and research.
4. Restructuring of the institutional frameworks and development plans.
Integrated water resources management (IWRM); setting up information
systems for early warning systems and rapid intervention mechanisms;
intense agri-pastoral activities; and research on climate-resilient
varieties were identified as primary requirements for agricultural
adaption to climate change. In addition, developing alternative energy
sources (e.g., substituting firewood) and the promotion of
non-agricultural income-generating activities were identified as the
main climate change adaptation strategies not directly related to the
Ngabitsinze, J.C.; Mukashema, A.; Ikirezi, M.; Niyitanga, F. Planning and costing adaptation of perennial crop systems to climate change: Coffee and banana in Rwanda. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London, UK (2011) 52 pp.
Planning and costing adaptation of perennial crop systems to climate change: Coffee and banana in Rwanda.