GATSIBO – After depending on unproductive subsistence farming for long, residents of Kiramuruzi sector in Gatsibo district have embarked on extensive rice farming.
Farmers, who talked to The New Times at Kanyonyomba rice plantation scheme on Monday, said they expect improved rice production that will change their economic status.
The government invested large sums of money in clearing a huge chunk of land for rice farming. In the sectors of Muhura, Kiziguro and Kiramuruzi in Gatsibo district.
But until recently, the multi-million project was still underutilized due to what was being termed as poor management of rice cooperative societies operating in the area.
In an interview with The New Times, various members of CORIMAC Rice farmers’ Cooperative in Nyabisindu zone said they expect bumper harvest this year.
‘Things have changed. We have put more effort in ensuring that this year’s rice production doubles,’ Bernadette Upfuyisoni, the cooperative president said.
She admitted that there were misunderstandings between leaders of the cooperative which had affected previous production targets.
Cooperative members thanked the government for reviving rice farming in the valley.
‘I never thought that this valley could be essential to us. I have for the first time managed to save Rwf 140, 000,” Paul Namusabyumuremyi, a farmer said.
He added that the cooperative society has got adequate farm inputs to enhance production.
Another farmer Jean Marie Vianney Uhoraningoga from Kiramuruzi zone said he expects to harvest close to 2.5 tonnes of rice this year.
‘I will collect Rwf 700, 000 from my rice plot this year. With this amount, I will take my children to good schools and save Rwf 200, 000, he said. “This is a miracle for sure”
Currently farmers sell a kilogram of rice at Rwf 240 to whole sellers, who in turn sell it at Rwf700.
According to Upfuyisoni, the farmers are ripped off by middle men because they do not have rice mills to process their harvest.