As political parties vying for parliamentary seats intensify their campaigns countrywide, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) says it has an attractive agricultural strategy which should win them many votes.
PSD is among the four political parties, including an RPF-led coalition, in the race for 53 of the 80 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.
Juvenal Nkusi, who tops the list of PSD parliamentary candidates, told The New Times last week that agriculture currently accounts for 40 per cent of Rwanda’s GDP and that the figure may change depending on other emerging priorities like technology.
“Considering that the biggest percentage of our people depend on land cultivation, we need to come up with robust strategies to ensure that these people’s income remain on the rise. Rwanda enjoys a temperate continental tropical climate with a relatively consistent thermal rhythm; we need to take advantage of this by harvesting rain water in plenty,” said Nkusi.
He added that, “As we plan to modernise our agriculture systems, we need to use the cheaper available methods like usage of harvested rain water in irrigation.”
Rwanda’s annual rainfall varies between 700mm and 1400mm in the lowlands of the east and west, between 1200mm and 1400mm in the central plateau, and between 1400mm and 2000mm in the high altitude region.
In the area of food security, Nkusi proposed the initiative of fast-tracking the urban agricultural system within the City of Kigali and provincial towns.
“With this kind of system, the food cultivated in towns should be enough for the markets while the produce from villages should be for export, this will drastically increase the income a farmer gets from his produce,” he said.
“Under the 12 years basic education programme, many classrooms were built, but these classrooms are not used optimally. We are proposing adult education in the areas of modern farming which would be conducted in the evening,” said Nkusi, adding that the lessons would be offered free of charge by sector agronomists.
PSD is in the parliamentary race with other parties including the RPF-led coalition which include Ideal Democratic Party (PDI), Parti Socialiste Rwandais (PSR), Parti du Progrès et la Concorde (PPC) and Centrist Democratic Party (PDC).
Others are PS-Imberakuri and Liberal Party (PL) who held their rallies in the city of Kigali and Rusizi District, respectively.
According to the electoral calendar, campaigns are expected to run for three weeks ending on September 15 while elections will be held from September 16-18.
The adult suffrage polls will be held on September 16 while the elections for special interest group will follow on September 17 (youth and persons with disabilities) and on September 18 women representatives.