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An assessment of the Girinka (one cow per poor family) program and poverty alleviation in Rwanda : a case study of Bugesera District.

dc.contributor.advisorBob, Urmilla.
dc.contributor.advisorRugege, Denis.
dc.contributor.authorKayigema, Vincent.
dc.descriptionM. Sc. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2013.en
dc.description.abstractGirinka “one cow per poor family” program has been implemented in Rwanda since 2006 for poverty and child malnutrition reduction. Every poor family receives one dairy cow and the program encourages zero-grazing to combat climate change. Bugesera District of Rwanda is characterized by long dry seasons and it was highly food insecure before the introduction of the Girinka program. However, after the initiation of the Girinka program, research showed poverty reduction in Bugesera District. This study was carried out to assess the impact of the Girinka program on its beneficiaries’ livelihoods and food security in the Bugesera District of Rwanda and its potential contribution to climate resilience. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods have been used in this study. Quantitative method was through household surveys using questionnaires and the qualitative method was through focus group discussion interviews. The study revealed that the Girinka program improved its beneficiaries’ livelihoods by providing manure as source of fertilizer, which resulted in an increase in crop production and food security. It also revealed that the money from the sale of livestock products helped the respondents to improve their livelihoods. The study also showed that child malnutrition has been eradicated in Bugesera District due to the Girinka program. Regarding climate resilience; the study showed that cow dung is used for biogas energy production, which is used as fuel for cooking and lighting and this reduces deforestation and greenhouse gases emissions in the atmosphere. Also, fodder cultivation prevents soil erosion. However, this study revealed that the use of biogas energy by the respondents is still at a low level. It is used by only 0.5% of the respondents. The study also revealed that 13% of the respondents take their cows to graze on the farm, which is prohibited by the program. The study recommends that development organizations support the Girinka program so that all poor people in Rwanda may benefit from the program. Also, it is suggested that environmentalists support research on the Girinka program as one of the climate resilience strategies. Lastly, strict program follow-up is recommended to address challenges faced by the program such inadequate veterinary services and water supply.en
dc.subjectFood security--Rwanda--Bugesera.en
dc.subjectCattle--Economic aspects--Rwanda.en
dc.subjectCattle--Climatic factors--Rwanda--Bugesera.en
dc.titleAn assessment of the Girinka (one cow per poor family) program and poverty alleviation in Rwanda : a case study of Bugesera District.en


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