Enhancing soil health in Rwanda: What’s lime got to do with it?

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Rwanda’s farmers have long struggled to obtain quality lime to improve their soil for better crop productivity. The most common lime available was unprocessed, requiring large quantities—between 2.5 and 4 metric tons (mt) per hectare—and had to be applied at least two months before planting. Additionally, distribution networks were inadequate, making it difficult for farmers to access the lime on time. The lack of awareness further compromised adoption.

The introduction of machinery for processing lime, supported by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), has revolutionized the lime value chain in Rwanda. This technology produces ‘lime grade one’, which is higher quality and easier to apply than the previously used ungraded lime. The application rate of lime grade one is significantly reduced, requiring between 750 to 1500 kilos per hectare, depending on soil type and quality. This advancement has simplified the application process, making it more cost-effective and profitable for farmers.

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