KIREHE - The district has earmarked about Rwf350m towards maize growing this coming season.
The district agriculture officer, Emmanuel Habimana explained that maize will be planted on 12,000 hectares of land, as part of local efforts to encourage extensive farming.
“Agriculture is the backbone of this district’s economy; it should therefore be given its due importance.
We have in this respect prepared over 12000 hectares to plant maize, a cereal crop that can end food shortages in the district and beyond,” Habimana told The New Times.
He added that the district was shifting from traditional farming practices to modern agriculture in order to boost food production.
“We shall be applying artificial fertilisers from planting to the last phase as required. This will ensure that we maximise production of maize,” he said.
Optimistic farmers have already started hiring the district’s tractors to till the land. Farmers will plant hybrid seeds which can survive harsh climate conditions, the officials say.
“We are expecting high yields and consequent high profits. Maize is a new crop we are investing in, but the high demand of maize flour assures us of market from the communities,” Jeanne Mutungi, one of the maize growers said.
The authorities say they have given the farmers enough skills to apply fertilisers and plant the crops appropriately.
“People used to plant maize like sorghum or millet and hence never harvested anything. Today, they plant in lines, space and allow only two plants to grow at a time,” Habimana noted.
According to local leaders, the district expects about 5 billion francs from the maize.