Farmers who adopted the land consolidation policy are satisfied with the benefits, according to a new survey.
The survey conducted by the United States Agency for International Development’s (Usaid) in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources, shows that 69 per cent of farmers interviewed in 20 sites in different parts of the country reported improved farm yields following the consolidation of their land. The findings were presented at a workshop in Kigali on Monday.
The survey further noted that due to land consolidation, 67 per cent of households had two meals a day and only 23 per cent had one meal a day (during the reporting time).
The research, conducted between March to December last year, covered six sites of Eastern and Northern provinces, five sites in Western Province, and three sites in the Southern Province.
Prof. Herman Musahara, a lecturer at the University of Rwanda, Huye campus, who conducted the research on socio-economic and environmental impacts of land consolidation, noted that, initially, farmers were worried about land consolidation, fearing it would lead to food shortages.
He said the farmers later realised the benefits of the policy which was introduced in 2009.
“The farmers were initially worried about food shortages because they did not understand the programme but 70 per cent of the farmers interviewed said the programme led to high yields,” Musahara said.
He called upon the government to help in sourcing market for farmers’ produce.
“Even though farmers get good harvests, they still lack market and some of them are forced to sell their produce at low prices,” Prof. Musahara said.
Pothin Muvara, the acting deputy director general in charge of Land and Mapping at the Ministry of Natural Resources, said the survey also revealed that some citizens lacked awareness on land registration.
He pointed out that they had a short time to cover the whole country, adding that those who did not register their land during systematic land registration can still do so at the district level.
Peter Malnak, the Rwanda director of Usaid, stressed the importance of research in informing policy.