EDITORIAL: Multi-million dollar irrigation project laudable

A $94 million (about Rwf65 billion) irrigation project is expected to start early next year in Kirehe District, Eastern Province.

A $94 million (about Rwf65 billion) irrigation project is expected to start early next year in Kirehe District, Eastern Province.

If implemented, it will be a major milestone in line with modernisation of agriculture as part of broader efforts to increase productivity and help meet the country’s development goals as enshrined in the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy2 (EDPRS2).

It’s a dream come true for farmers in the largely drought prone Kirehe area.

Agriculture is one of the country’s most critical sectors and plays a critical role in ensuring food security.

The government-funded project, which will occupy a total of 9,000 hectares, is expected to boost the country’s agricultural exports in the long-run. It will also spur the country’s crop production through modern farming techniques.

However, for the project to succeed, farmers must be fully involved in all the implementation phases to ensure community ownership and sustainability when the project is eventually handed to farmers to manage it on their own.

Government has invested a lot of resources to ensure that the agriculture sector moves to another level. According to data at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, over $270 million has been used to support various agriculture projects, including in areas of irrigation and water management. But to benefit from these initiatives, it calls for more commitment from farmers to ensure that once these projects start running, they are sustained and serve the target beneficiaries.

But as government continues to devise solutions to the challenges in the agriculture sector, farmers should use all available alternatives to ensure that they have water during the dry season. One way to do this is to embrace rainwater harvesting during the rainy season, among others.

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