East Africa Projects – Gatsibo, Rwanda

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Edited by Giacomo Quattrucci

The task is projecting small sustainable and eco-friendly energy systems to give the access of the electricity to the farmers and to power necessary tools for developing the corn business in the Gatsibo district, which is located in the north-east side of Kigali in Rwanda (as it is hooped in the following picture):

The project’s aim is to overcome all the difficulties that farmers cooperatives have to face every year, in order to dry the corn during the rainy season, which coincides with the harvest period, to optimize the irrigation system of the fields, especially during the dry season (that goes from April to September) and obviously to bring the electricity to rural communities, who has made the agriculture as their main source of income.

The project was born of the opportunity given by the Local Agricultural Ministry (MINAGRI), which has officially launched PASP (post-harvest and agribusiness support project) in 2014, an Investment programme that, with the support of the private sector, wants to develop post-harvest infrastructure equipment for storage (e.g. drying facilities), working capital to operate infrastructure (e.g. electricity, transportation) and small productive assets (e.g. farm equipment including agriculture machines).

During the X FSA, in particular in January 2018, students collected the necessary data for developing the project, by the way of interviewing local agricultural cooperatives, and they have also started to size the solar power plant and utilities.

The project would like to provide for every cooperative: the installation of a solar PV power plant with a storage system, a dryer and solar water pumping for the irrigation

The following picture illustrate one of the meeting between the agricultural cooperative and the students, who has started the project (from the left to the right side: Carlotta Coffaro, Emanuele Dominici, Paolo Cherubini, Giacomo Quattrucci e Giandomenico Corcione).