There is need to increase rice production to not only ensure food security, but also broaden the country’s tax base, the Minister for Agriculture Geraldine Mukeshimana, has said.
The minister said this while on a tour of Kirehe District on Monday, where she interacted with hundreds of rice farmers in the area.
Mukeshimana said though rice production in the country had increased substantially, there is still room for improvement, especially by increasing the yield per hectare.
“To meet the increasing demand, millers should work closely with farmers as part of increasing the value chain.
The millers should undertake extension activities so that productivity and consumption increase at the same pace,” she said.
She said to add value to the rice output, millers needed to invest in modern machinery and urged them to create synergies through joint enterprises.
The minister also visited various rice milling plants in the district.
Relevant government agencies were tasked to work in an integrated manner for management of the entire rice production system.
According to the minister, in order to ensure sustainable rice management, the improvement of rice varieties must be handled in line with market demand, she said.
Josephine Mukandaramutse, one of the farmers, said the government should provide financial assistance to millers to help modernise their units to increase production and quality of their produce.