At least 170 hectares in three marshlands in Rwamagana District will be irrigated, following rehabilitation works on three valley dams that took over one year.
The project cost around $20 million and was funded by the Japanese Government.
The project includes rehabilitation of two storage dams of Cyimpima and Gashara, and construction of a new storage dam called Bugugu, as well as an irrigation canal which is 23.7km long.
The project, located in three sectors of Kigabiro, Rubona and Mwulire, was carried out under a Japanese grant aid, and the new facilities were handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources and is set to benefit 1,174 farmers who use the marshlands to grow mainly rice, maize and soybean.
Theogene Uwizeye, the representative of rice farmers’ union in Rwamagana District, said, “As the dams got older, the quantity of water kept diminishing and the irrigated land got shorter and shorter, but now, the water reaches everywhere, we the farmers are very happy.”
Uwizeye stated that the irrigated area is increasing by 30 hectares further highlighting that there was also a cooperative that used to irrigate one season of the year due to the shortage of water, a problem that has since been solved.
“These facilities will increase agricultural production in Eastern Province, for Rwamagana farmers, in particular, we are really excited about this achievement, and we believe that if used productively, it will contribute to food security,” Eastern Province Governor, Fred Mufulukye, said.
Jean-Claude Musabyimana, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, said that in 589,000 hectares of marshlands in Rwanda, 48 percent of them are irrigated, and thanked the Japanese Government for their key contribution.
He said that the Ministry of Agriculture and its partners pledge the sustainability of the projects.
Musabyimana, however, said that the farmers have to use the available opportunities to increase productivity, which is much needed.
“The land in our country does not increase, but there is a way to increase it, which is the increase of inputs and better management of the land, which both lead to larger productivity,” he declared.
To feed the population in 2050, people will need to multiply today’s production 15 folds, according to the Permanent Secretary.
Masahiro Imai, Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, announced: “This year is the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Japanese embassy in Rwanda, so it is so commemorative, it is a very big project as Japanese support in comparison to the previous projects, and agriculture is one of the four key sectors, I feel very honoured and proud that we complete this project on time, even earlier than expected.”
Though the construction sector was affected by measures taken against the spread of Covid-19, Tobishima Corporation, a Japanese contractor that began the works in February 2019, completed the works without any delay from the originally planned schedule.Follow DeDiosNsabimana