The Government is committed to modernise the agriculture sector.
The remarks were made by Senate vice president Bernard Makuza last Saturday while launching the agriculture planting season A 2014 in Nyamugari Sector, in Kirehe District.
The maize planting activity in Bukora valley also coincided with the countrywide monthly community work known as Umuganda.
Makuza, who led a delegation of 10 Senetaors, said that the involvement of the senators helped policymakers to get close to people, adding that it was essential for senators to get firsthand experience.
“Besides planting and applying fertilisers, we had a chance to interact with the farmers. They told us what they go through as farmers. We want a policy that is backed with knowledge on people’s needs,” said Makuza.
Districts in Eastern Province have earmarked over 123,000 hectares, on which to grow crops such as maize, soya and beans on large scale.
Agriculture productivity had been affected by low usage of fertilisers in most of eastern province districts.
However, according to Governor Odette Uwamariya, farmers have now conceptualised the importance of using fertilisers.
“We have started a new season in high gear…we want to maximise the production of cereal crops. Our farmers are on the right track, using fertilisers is no longer an issue. We expect big harvest by the end of this season,” she said.
The governor, who took the senators around agriculture development farms, said their presence was long overdue.
“The presence of the senators is a morale booster for farmers and local leaders…that they participated in agriculture activities directly shows great commitment”.
Lawrence Uzamushaka, a farmers’ representative in the sector, caused laughter when he said that he had become an expert in agriculture.
“It is true that people now consult me in matters pertaining agriculture. I know what it takes to produce high yields. My expertise has helped many farmers increase yields and make ends meet but this is not where I want us to be, we should graduate to commercialised agriculture from subsistence,” he said.