GISAGARA - At least 300 hectares of rice were destroyed in Ngiryi, Akabogobogo and Nyiramageni swamps in Gisagara district following heavy rains which hit different sectors of the district on Tuesday.
An adjacent soya beans and maize fields were also destroyed. Mamba, Musha and Mukindo sectors were the most affected.
Rice farmers have blamed their losses on lack of dykes in the neighboring Save and Ndora Sectors.
Some of the farmers who talked to The New Times expressed discontent over the lack of serious measures to check floods.
“The floods have destroyed our rice fields. We are now left with no source of future livelihoods in the coming days,” said Faustin Uwajyiwabo, a rice farmer in Nyiramageni swamp. “All residents together with district authorities should get involved in this problem to avoid such losses in future.”
However, the district vice Mayor in charge of Economic Affairs, Hesron Hategekimana, said that discussions are ongoing with rice farmers to work out a solution.
“We have asked farmers to replant rice where it is still possible since many of them still have seedlings in the nursery beds. Others will be encouraged to plant other crops like maize and cabbages,” he said, adding that high level plans to rescue affected farmers are underway.
He disclosed that discussions have been held between the district, the Rwanda Agriculture Development Authority (RADA) and the Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority in order to get a common position on what must be done to rice farmers.