Rice growers grouped together in Cooprico cooperative in Ntende village, Gatsibo District have received 50 fertiliser applying machines, from the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC).
Laurence Mukamana, of IFDC, said the equipment will help farmers, particularly women, to efficiently apply fertilisers in their gardens.
“The machines allows balanced doses of fertiliser and placement techniques, which will help the farmers,” she said while handing over the machine last week.
Marie Gorethe Cyumuzoza, one of the farmers, said the machine will make use of fertlisers easier.
“It is sometimes inevitable for us to do farm work while carrying babies on our back. This machine will help us a lot,” she said.
The rice cooperative targets 80 per cent participation of women in its activities, according to local leaders.
Addressing the farmers, the district vice-mayor in charge of economic affairs, Isiah Habarurema, said the project aimed at fostering women’s participation in agriculture.
He said the district has ensured that women benefit from the project significantly.
“We want to increase women’s effectiveness in rice production, ensure food security at the household level and help women start entrepreneurial enterprises,” Habarurema said.
“Apart from household duties, one will find many women tilling the fields, preparing seedbeds, transplanting, weeding, applying fertilisers or irrigating gardens. When the crop is ready for harvesting, it is the female farmer who rises to the task. About 80 per cent are involved, we should acknowledge their role,” he said.
Habarurema further explained that the important role women traditionally play in agriculture shouldn’t be underlooked.
“Women contribute immensely to production by ensuring the preservation of higher-yielding seed varieties and the proper drying and storage of grain,” he said.