RUTSIRO - Farmers in Rutsiro District have expressed fear that the present scarcity of fertilisers and other agricultural inputs might affect their output this season.
The farmers say there is only one supplier who was contracted to distribute fertilisers in Rubavu and Rutsiro districts, but the supplier is yet to make contact with farmers.
Talking to The New Times, some farmers suggested that the Ministry of Agriculture should give the tender to another supplier.
“The person who is supposed to supply us fertilisers insists that we pay him first yet it is sometimes practically impossible,” Etienne Seminega, a coffee farmer said, adding that the prices of fertilisers keep fluctuating.
“The price fluctuation is troubling us. I don’t understand if it is always a directive from the ministry or they are just exploiting us,” he said.
While reacting to the concern, Damaciene Nsanzimfura, the district vice mayor in charge of Economic Affairs acknowledged the problem and called for urgent intervention.
“We are appealing to the government to work with people who understand the concerns of the local farmers more than anyone else. We suggest that other contractors be contacted,” he said.
Rutsiro was the third best performing district in coffee production with over 16 percent of the total provincial output and they have set their targets even higher this year.
They have set to plant beans and maize on 3,000 hectares of land and coffee on 50,000 hectares this season.