Farmers in Ngoma and Rwamagana districts will benefit from a five- year project that aims at enhancing the resilience and productivity of agriculture.
Dubbed “Project for Water Management and Capacity Building of Water Users Organisations in the Republic of Rwanda,” the project targets two main irrigation schemes in Eastern Province.
It will be implemented through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) grant aid projects.
In addition to benefiting farmers, the project also aims to strengthen the capacity of the staff of Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) in the area of irrigation water management.
Under the agreement between RAB and JICA, the Government of Japan will deploy its agricultural experts to work with their Rwandan counterparts, invite Rwandans to Japan for field visits as well as supply equipment to support the implementation of the project.
Dr Patrick Karangwa, the Director of RAB, the project will support the government’s target to increase the surface of lands to be irrigated.
“So far, we have 52,000 hectares and our target is to double in four years. We expect that the grant will help to sustain irrigation activities as well as impact the potential of beneficiaries and technicians about irrigation scheme,” Karangwa said.
According to the JICA Chief Representative, Hiroyuki Takada, they support agriculture because of its significant impact on improving the welfare of people.
“There is a need to build the capacity of farmers for efficiency of utilisation of irrigation scheme. Based on the experience of the people from Japan, we want to contribute to the development of agriculture in Rwanda,” Takada said.
So far 300 hectares of land in Ngoma have been covered benefiting some 22 projects.
The second phase is expected to rehabilitate Rwamagana marshland irrigation scheme. The activities are due to start this month.