Huye soya farmers count losses, seek compensation

Farmers uproot the failed soya crops to plant other crops on 50 hectares in Huye District. / Courtesy

Farmers who had planted soya on over 50 hectares in Huye district and failed to yield are appealing for compensation.

Erasme Budadi Rushimisha is one of 624 members of COAGIMPA cooperative in Mpaza marshland that cuts across Tumba and Mukura sectors.

He told The New Times that he was expecting to harvest four sacks of soya beans but they failed to yield as they never produced pods. He was expecting over Rwf300,000 from the harvest.

“I was expecting to pay schools fees to my children this third term, but because I never harvested anything, I am requesting Rwf150,000 as a loan to be able to pay my children’s school fees,” he said.

He said they had intended to grow beans but were advised to plant Soya but it turned out that the soil was not favourable for the seed variety.

Godelive Muhimpundu, president of the cooperative, said the seeds were not suitable to the marshland.

“We are waiting for officials to tell us what support they will give us,” she said.

Charles Bucagu, the Deputy Director-General of Agriculture Research and Technology Transfer at Rwanda Agricultural Development Board, told The New Times that they will meet the farmers on Friday to discuss the way forward.

“Of course, the farmers will be compensated. We have to correct the issue so that it does not occur again,” he said.

Under the Agricultural Season B in which the farmers faced the losses, Rwanda Agricultural Board was supposed to distribute 300 tonnes of Soya seeds.

The recent African Seed Access Index completed earlier this year in Rwanda and released last month revealed that farmers’ satisfaction with regards to efforts to stamp out bad seeds stood at 72 per cent.

But the index indicates that the use of improved seeds is not yet at a satisfactory level since the use of those seeds has risen from 3 per cent in 2006 to 12.5 per cent in 2018 in small scale farms and 53.1 per cent for large scale farmers.