HUYE — The Belgian development cooperation has committed to support agricultural extension services in Gisagara and Huye districts.
The project dubbed ‘Support to the decentralized agricultural extension service’ worth euro 4.5, would be implemented by the Belgian technical cooperation [CTB] within a period of three years.
Speaking at the launch of the project this Tuesday in Huye, Joost Bakkeren, an official from CTB said that their services to farmers will be demand driven.
“We shall be working closely with a district consultative committee that will play specific roles in agricultural issues.
It will be composed of district officials, heads of projects and non government organisations involved in agriculture.
We shall fund programmes that are found to be vital to the local farmers,” Bakkeren said.
“The committee will play a consultative role, mobilization, coordination and encourage experience sharing among all members. It will act as the bond, by preparing agricultural development plans of the districts.”
he said, adding that the committee would also be used to recommend training, micro projects, and assess the impact of their intervention.
Other key stake holders will include: government agencies like the Rwanda Institute of Agriculture and Scientific Research, Rwanda Agriculture development authority, and the Rwanda Animal resources development authority.
The Project seeks to implement the programmes set out in the Strategic Programme for Agricultural Transformation.
According to the National project coordinator, Mary Rucibigango, they [implementers] will constitute a project agricultural information and communication centre, charged with sourcing and disseminating basic agricultural information to farmers and other organisations.
“We shall initially have this information at the national level and then later at the district and sector level.
This basic information will be accessed free, during the Project implementation period,” said Rucibigango.
Residents from Farmers’ associations welcomed the project with optimism.
“We lack a lot of information about agricultural activities in the Country.
You can’t even get basic information from the Ministry of Agriculture because they do not have proper mechanism in place.
This greatly affects planning at all levels. We hope this project will fill this gap,” said Sylvere Mutederi.
During the same function, farmers and other stakeholders formed a steering committee that will formulate their action plan.