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Land assessment and planning to site an innovative agriculture institute for the next generation of agriculture professionals in Rwanda.

Agriculture Institute Planning, Rwanda

Over the last two decades, the Rwandan government has prioritized the growth and improvement of their agricultural sector, and acknowledged the need for farming practices to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. In 2015, together with a group of private funders, they selected a 4000-acre site in eastern Rwanda for a proposed Practical Agriculture Institute. RDG was contracted to create a preliminary land use Master Plan to site a four-year agriculture institute and associated infrastructure. The design process included visioning, comprehensive site analysis, field work, and the development of a series of land-use alternatives.

The property encompasses two ridges that slope gently down to two lakes. An existing government-run agricultural research station contains pasture, tilled fields, and orchards. The design proposals maximize both the ecological and productive values of the dry tropical forests, savannas, and sensitive wetlands that surround the lake.

Our recommended land management practices will strengthen ecosystem functions such as water holding capacity and erosion control. Improved production practices like agroforestry increase the capacity of the land and its ability to support people, livestock, and natural resources. Plans addressed the needs of nearby communities, and offered suggestions of how to connect with adjacent landscapes. Post-assessment planning and design of the agriculture institute have been completed by MASS Design Group.

Key Features

  • Conservation and research forest
  • Research and demonstration farmland
  • Campus master planning and siting
  • Productive forest and riparian buffers
  • Regenerative pasture and grazing land
  • Water conservation measures

Services Provided

  • Development of tropical land use typology
  • Illustrated pattern language for ecological design
  • Comprehensive land assessments and analyses – both on-site and remote
  • Preliminary land use master plan alternatives
  • Sustainable tropical agricultural land management recommendations

This Institute – a part of the larger movement towards economic prosperity through healthy and productive landscapes – will train a new generation of skilled, creative professionals to contribute to the continued growth, profitability, and sustainability of the agricultural sector of Rwanda. 

Karama Preliminary Land Use Master Plan, Executive Summary

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