Mechanisation to boost maize production in Nyanza
NYANZA–Maize farmers in Nyagisozi Sector, Nyanza District, are set to enhance output after acquiring a power tiller to help them modernise their activities.
Grouped under the Komeza Imihigo cooperative, which is made up of 679 members, the farmers purchased the tiller at a cost of Rwf 27 million.
We used to produce 44 tonnes of maize a year but we are now expecting at least 135 tonnes. We also hope to increase our bean production from the usual 12 tonnes to at least 50
The machine will be used to plough a 75 hectare stretch of farmland in Kaviri, Nyamagana, Kami, Gihimbi and Gituntu marshlands.
The farmers expect the equipment to help them cultivate large tracks of land in a short period of time and plant seeds on time. It has a capacity to prepare between two and three hectares of land daily.
“We are expecting to increase our production threefold,” Dominique Mugiraneza, an agronomist and programme manager with the cooperative elatedly commented.
“An evaluation we carried out before acquiring this machine showed that we will be able to grow maize and beans thrice a year, moving from the accustomed two times,” he said.
“A plot which we usually prepared in more than two months by hand will now be cultivated in less than two weeks.”
“We used to produce 44 tonnes of maize a year but we are now expecting at least 135 tonnes. We also hope to increase our bean production from the usual 12 tonnes to at least 50,” he said, adding: “We are optimistic to reach that level unless the weather is unfavourable.”
The cooperative further hopes to generate more money by renting the machine to other farmers in the area.
Members of the cooperative expressed similar optimism over the benefits of agricultural
Evariste Nsanzabaganwa, 50, stated: “We are so proud of the acquisition. I am now expecting the performance of our cooperative to improve, thus uplifting our living conditions.”
Jeannette Ntihabose, the Social Economic Development officer in Gahanga Cell, observed that the acquisition of the tiller would spur development among local residents.
“This is a sign that working under cooperatives can help to accelerate economic growth of the population,” she underlined.
The Government has encouraged farmers to adopt the use of modern methods of farming so as to improve productivity.
It has further embarked on a programme to facilitate willing farmers to access credit at lower interest rates to purchase tractors in order to efficiently transform agriculture ultimately ensuring food security.