SPREAD: Sustaining Partnerships to enhance Rural Enterprise and Agribusiness Development
|Years of Operation||2006-2012|
|Sponsors||U.S. Agency for International Development|
|Partners||Rwandan National Development Board, National University of Rwanda, Radio Lifeline, Population Media Center, Ritchey Design Inc.|
|Notable Outcomes||Sponsored first Cup of Excellence® competition in Africa|
Made possible through a cooperative agreement with USAID/Rwanda. Partnership with Michigan State University and National University of Rwanda.
Before 2001 there was nothing in Butare, Rwanda, but chaos and devastation left by the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Now there is a thriving coffee industry as a result of the innovative USAID program Partnership for enhancing Agriculture in Rwanda through Linkages (PEARL I & II), guided by Texas A&M University and Michigan State University. The next phase, SPREAD, began in 2006 and continued the success of the program by expanding throughout Rwanda.
The village of Butare now has a coffee-processing station, two restaurants, a pharmacy, a bank, six hair salons, and the village’s first internet cafe. Growers have gained direct access to lucrative new markets and introduced international quality standards. The result is the rebirth of the coffee industry and a doubling of income for 40,000 Rwandan coffee farmers.
SPREAD helped tens of thousands of Rwandans increase their incomes and improve their overall standard of living through “value chain” development.Key SPREAD program components included off-farm development, capacity building in management, quality improvement and control, product marketing, coffee quality research and development, educational outreach, access to credit, and health and HIV/AIDS awareness.
Learn more about SPREAD by reading our blog posts on the project below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In the above video, taken at the US Agency for International Development’s May 2013 Gender GLEE event, Julie Borlaug, Associate Director for External Relations at the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, discusses the importance of gender in the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative.
Jonathan Kalan is a freelance photojournalist in Africa who recently wrote a series of articles for the Borlaug Institute on the USAID SPREAD Project in Rwanda. The 6-part series of articles focus on SPREAD’s impact on the specialty coffee industry in Rwanda— from its influence on the lives of farmers to government policy. Kalan was recently interviewed by The Salt, NPR’s food blog, and he spoke about the USAID/Borlaug Institute/ Texas A&M partnership in Rwanda which helped start the Rwandan specialty coffee industry. Check out the excerpt below… Read More →
On Tuesday, March 22, 2012, USAID Rwanda tweeted: “President Barack Obama speech recognized poverty reduction success of the U.S. Agency for International Development- funded program SPREAD.” Since 2000, USAID has committed $12 million to develop Rwanda’s specialty coffee industry. With this support, the industry has grown from zero exports and zero dollars in 2000 to 3,045 metric tons and $11.6 million in export revenue in 2009—making it one of the country’s largest export earners. SPREAD is led by the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, Texas AgriLife Research, in collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture… Read More →