Meet the FABLE Rwanda team

The team is led by the University of Rwanda. The team’s main areas of interest have been in land use modelling, sustainable development, climate change impacts and forest restoration.

Models used by the team: FABLE Calculator.

Contact focal point

François Xavier Naramabuye

François Xavier Naramabuye

University of Rwanda

Imanirareba Dative

Dative Imanirareba

Uganda Martyrs University

Fidèle Niyitanga

Fidèle Niyitanga

University of Rwanda

Transforming food and land-use systems in Rwanda

One of Rwanda’s primary challenges is to feed its population, set to nearly double from 13.2 million today to 22 million in the next 30 years. Despite progress since the early 1990s, in 2021, more than one-fifth of the population remains food insecure, and over one-third are undernourished, and one third of children are stunted. Rapid urbanization has compounded this food security challenge.

Rwanda's reliance on rainfed agriculture makes it vulnerable to climate change impacts such as droughts and outbreaks of pests and diseases. Poor soil fertility practices, land degradation, and erosion further exacerbate the situation. Climate change is expected to cost the country up to 1% of GDP per year by 2030.

Rwanda has a total land area of 26,338 square kilometers and an average population density of 407 persons per square kilometer, making it the most densely populated country. Rwanda's fragmented land distribution and growing population have resulted in rising pressure on land resources, causing land degradation, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, water shortages, and soil nutrient depletion.

Key national objectives and targets

  • Vision 2050 sets a new pathway that will shift Rwanda to an upper, middle-income country by 2035, and high income by 2050. The strategy aims to increase agricultural productivity to 15 times its 2020 level, and reduce the share of land being used for agriculture.

  • Rwanda intends to reduce the burden of agricultural pests and diseases by promoting a variety of sustainable pest management techniques.

  • The NDC sets out the target of increasing the share of households applying agro forestry to 100% by 2030.

  • The NDC for Rwanda reflect the national ambition by 2030 to join global efforts toward curbing global temperature rise below 2°C by 2100, with an aspirational target of 1.5°C.

  • Rwanda seeks to enhance its afforestation efforts by using of germplasm, species site matching, timing of tree planting and post planting care. Mixed-species approaches will be used that increase ecosystem resilience and biodiversity. Rwanda's target is to achieve an overall 30% sustained forest cover of the total national land surface by 2030 from 28.8% in 2013.

  • Rwanda intends to maximize the productivity of existing land resources in order to increase tree coverage and biomass production without using new land. Rwanda’s target is to develop public-private partnerships for sustainable forest management by 2030.

  • Rwanda is committed to promote bio-diversity conservation including revitalization of National Parks to contribute to a Global target of 30% of land and sea under protection by 2030, and 50% under protection by 2050.

  • Publications

  • Perez-G K, Imanirareba D, Jones K.S, Neubauer R, Niyitanga F & Naramabuye F. X (2022): Sustainability implications of Rwanda’s Vision 2050 long-term development strategy. Sustainability Science volume 18, pages485–499 (2023).

  • Kabayiza, A., Owuor, G., Langat, J. K., & Niyitanga, F.(2021). Drivers to utilize farm credits: Lessons from tea farmers of the Nyaruguru District in Southern Province, Rwanda. The Journal of Rural and Community Development, 16(2), 64–79.

  • FABLE (2020). Pathways to Sustainable Land-Use and Food Systems. 2020 Report of the FABLE Consortium. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Laxenburg and Paris. 10.22022/ESM/12-2020.16896.. Rwanda chapter.
  • Weatherspoon, Dave D., Miller, Steven R., Niyitanga, Fidele, Weatherspoon, Lorraine J. and Oehmke, James F.. "Rwanda’s Commercialization of Smallholder Agriculture: Implications for Rural Food Production and Household Food Choices" Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, vol. 19, no. 1, 2021, pp. 51-62.
  • Nsabimana, Aimable, Niyitanga, Fidele, Weatherspoon, Dave D. and Naseem, Anwar. "Land Policy and Food Prices: Evidence from a Land Consolidation Program in Rwanda" Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, vol. 19, no. 1, 2021, pp. 63-73.
  • Adolph, B., Barrett, S., Guarín, A., Nicolini, G., Assefa, F., Tizazu, B., Fikreyesus, D., Nebsu, B., Mungoo, J., Kimani, A., Naramabuye, F., Sirikare, S., Natukunda, S. (2021). Agri-food systems that work for people and planet: challenges and opportunities from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. IIED, London.