Kirehe: Farmers advised to plant drought resistant crops

L-R: Mayors Gerald Muzungu and Aphrodise Nambaje of Kirehe and Ngoma districts respectively during the provincial meeting on Monday. Jean de Dieu Nsabimana.

Recent weather forecast from Meteo Rwanda shows that Kirehe District might register normal to below normal rainfall.

Consequently, the Government advised farmers to plant short cycle crops such as beans and sweet potatoes or drought resistant crops such as cassava.

Similar advice has been given to farmers in the southern parts of Ngoma and Bugesera districts in Eastern Province, Gisagara District in Southern Province, and Rusizi in Western Province.

(L-R) Governor Mufulukye, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Agriculture, Jean Claude Musabyimana, Brig. Gen Johnosn Hodari and Dr Charles Bucagu, Deputy Director General of RAB 

Dr Charles Bucagu, Deputy Director General of Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), delivered the message Monday at a meeting for stakeholders in agriculture in Eastern Province.

Bucagu has advised farmers to start planting crops between February 25 and March 7, 2019.

“We need to be prepared with some mitigation strategies, whether to plant short cycle crops or drought tolerant crops,” he added.

Apart from the five districts, the remaining parts of the country will experience sufficient rainfall to drive higher agriculture output, experts say.

“Secondly, agro-dealers should order inputs, seeds and inorganic fertilisers, and have them in plenty to ensure timely availability,” he added.

Officials in Kirehe project to produce 41,834 metric tonnes of maize from 23,855 hectares in season 2019 A, which run from September 2018 to February 2019.

They also forecast an output of 10,093 tonnes of beans from 11,215 hectares.

“We noticed it in the last few years that season B has low rainfall, and we already know that our district is one of those set to experience less rainfall,” Gerald Muzungu, the Mayor of Kirehe District, told The New Times.

Some 2,000 hectares in the district are covered under irrigation and hence no need to worry about the shortage of rain.

Kirehe farmers target to plant maize on 2,417 hectares.

Fred Mufulukye, the Governor of Eastern Province, said that he advised farmers to plant sorghum.

Most of the sorghum produced in the district is sold to Bralirwa, the country’s biggest brewery.

In December last year 31 sectors in Eastern Province were severely affected by drought. Eight of them were in Kirehe District.

Some 10,293 hectares and 18,262 families were reported to have been affected in Kirehe alone.