Nyaruguru District residents have called upon the government and development partners to ensure that people are empowered to make the best of the resources available in the country. This was said on Wednesday during the launch of the Governance Month in the district. The aim of the Governance Month championed by Rwanda Governance Board is to reach out to the public, find out their grievances as well as possible remedies. John Nzirumbanje, the president of Agatangaza, a passion fruit processing cooperative, said their biggest challenge was enhancing people’s capacity. “Development funds have to reach people in their communities. They are often at the district level. We knew there was Business Development Fund (BDF) but we have only realised now that it is operational in this district. Deep in our villages, we have projects seeking such funding,” he said. He added that their cooperative produces concentrated passion fruit juice but they lack modern processing equipment and packaging materials, adding that the fund could help solve the issue. “We import bottles to package our juice, each bottle costs Rwf300, which is expensive. Our processing plant can only process 50 bottles at a time because it is not advanced. I believe access to farming will make our business grow and this would benefit many,” he said. For Samuel Ndayisenga, an official of One Acre Fund, an organisation that operates in the districts of Nyaruguru, Nyamagabe and Ruhango, during the Governance Month, more effort should be put on sensitising people on the use of better farming practices to get better yields. He, however, said farmers in Nyaruguru should also get subsidies on lime (locally known as Ishwagara) as it is the case for other fertilisers. Nyaruguru District Mayor François Habitegeko, said the Governance Month will be an opportunity to interact with people on the best ways the district can fast-track development through fully engaging them. He said there were weaknesses at the local level for leaders to better grasp people’s problems and drive the policies to bring meaningful change. “So, this is the issue we are going to tackle,” he said, adding that they would also be assessing implementation of government policies up to the village level. The launch of the Governance Month started with an Open Day where various partners of Nyaruguru exhibited their products and services they provide, among them agriculture value chain, manufacturing, education and health. Exhibitors said the Open Day is an opportunity to market their services and products as well as get connections.