The move by the Government and HarvestPlus Rwanda to jointly promote modern agriculture practices is a step in the right direction. Often, farmers across the country realise poor yields, not because they are lazy or have small pieces of land, but due to the fact that the majority of them use rudimentary farming methods.
The partnership between the Government and HarvestPlus will help rural farmers adopt modern farming methods and subsequently increase on their production.
Agricultural mechanisation is the way to go for any country that wants to transform the sector and help farmers realise better yields, improve family income and reduce poverty, especially among rural communities.
Modernisation of agriculture is even crucial for a country like Rwanda since about 80 per cent of the population is employed in the sector.
However, there is a lot that needs to be done to ensure that the country realises its goals to go full agricultural mechanisation by 2020. With just six years away, is every stakeholder pulling towards that target?
It should also be recalled that mechanisation does not in itself translate into increased yields for farmers. Therefore, there is need for commitment towards achieving modern agriculture in totality and not to just focus on one or two aspects.
Farmers have to be encouraged to use other modern farming methods like irrigation and fertiliser application. The private sector players, including banks, processors and agro-input dealers, should also join this campaign.
It takes more than just the Government or NGOs to realise these goals. The result will be better incomes, improved health and standards of living, as well as sustained economic growth and low inflation.