RWAMAGANA – Farmers organised in a cooperative known as Inyenyeri in Rwamagana district, say they are reaping large profits after embarking on extensive pepper production.
Talking to The New Times from their headquarters in Kiri village in Munyiginya sector, Stéphanie Nyiratunga, the cooperative’s leader, said that the cooperative mobilised capital to invest in commercial pepper cultivation, due to its attractive prices.
“The money we get is incredible when compared to other traditional crops. We sell each Kg of pepper at Rwf 1200,” she said.
“This is a big sum compared to what other crops fetch. We will save some money in the bank and use the rest to buy more pepper vines.”
Ezekiel Rukema, an official from African Evangelist Enterprise, the main sponsor of the project, said that the most important thing was mobilising the people to realise the importance of pepper production.
“We provided them with expertise and initial capital. So, here they are enjoying the profits of their hard work. We intend to use them to spread pepper growing to other areas,” he said.
The cooperative members are predominantly widows and other vulnerable groups of people.
Geoffrey Mushaija, the Executive Secretary of Rwamagana district, said that most residents have heeded local leaders’ advice to turn to commercial agriculture.
“We want to create jobs and we want the poor to get more money from their harvest,” he said.
“Rwandan farmers are a key pillar of the country’s economy, and better prices for their crops will provide a huge boost to residents and the national economy.’