RUBAVU - The pyrethrum production company Sopyrwa and Rubavu farmers have agreed to increase the production of pyrethrum in order to meet the growing demand.
The decision was taken last week during a meeting between farmers and officials of the pyrethrum company, in Rubavu District.
During the meeting, the company and farmers agreed to renew a contract that was signed in 1973-which commits Sopyrwa to secure land for farmers in addition to giving them other farm inputs.
The production manager of Sopyrwa, Egide Nkuranga said under the renewed partnership, farmers would be paid on time and seeds will be delivered to them.
“Residents will benefit immensely …we shall secure land for them for purposes of boosting pyrethrum production. If they do it well they will realise that pyrethrum has more returns than, say potatoes,” he said.
It is understood that pyrethrum farmers had shifted to growing potatoes due to lack of a streamlined system-which necessitated renewing the agreement.
One resident Joseph Maniraguha, recalled that pyrethrum production was booming business before production was interrupted during the Genocide.
“After production was interrupted, we could wait for over a year before being paid, that is why many farmers had shifted to potatoes growing,” Emanuel Habimana said.
Sopyrwa has a total of 44,736 hectares of land of which only 27,164 hectares are currently being cultivated.
And 20,572 hectares will be utilised under the new partnership.
According to company officials, they harvest between 150-250 kilograms of pyrethrum from one hectare of land. The target is to get about 800kg next year, the officials said.
Nkuranga who is also the deputy general managerof Sopyrwa, noted that Rwanda’s pyrethrum is of better quality compared to that from other countries.
The crop is mainly supplied to the North American markets.
At the meeting, the Rubavu District official in charge of agriculture and environment, Innocent Harerimana, advised farmers to abide by the agreement, saying it is one way of contributing to the development of the country’s economy. He also urged Sopyrwa to keep its commitments.