In a bid to improve agricultural production in the country, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Agnes Kalibata, has said that the government is planning to develop about 66,000 hectares of wetlands.
She made the remarks while appearing before Parliament on Wednesday to update lawmakers on the current state of agriculture in the country.
“Our target is to develop 66,000 hectares of marshland; so far we are targeting 13,000 hectares for development during the course of this year,” said Kalibata.
She however said that one of the major challenges faced by her ministry in developing wetlands is the cost of the processes which remains high.
“Draining one hectare of wetland for agricultural use costs about US$8,000 which is quite expensive; currently we draw some of that money from the Rural Sector Support Fund,” Kalibata added.
Rice farming is one of the key agricultural activities in swamps across the country. According to Kalibata, Rwanda currently produces about 60,000 tons of rice annually while the demand to satisfy the Rwandan market requires 83,000 tons.
Currently in Rwanda, a total area of 165,000 hectares is covered by wetlands and of these; 92,000 are used for agriculture.