About 2,500 agronomists and field facilitators will be integrated into government’s new farming extension model (Twigire Muhinzi programme), the agriculture minister has said. Twigire Muhinzi is a village-based agriculture extension model, where farmers access services and inputs in their locality.
Dr Geraldine Mukeshimana, Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources, said the programme helps farmers get basic extension services, inputs and timely information, which will boost farm yields.
“Through the village-based extension model, we want to sensitise farmers to understand the best agricultural practices, including timely land preparation and planting, as well as ease access to inputs like quality seeds, fertiliser, lime and other micronutrients,” Mukeshimana noted.
She said one of the immediate tasks of the field facilitators is to help equip farmers with basic modern farming skills as the new planting season kicks off.
Government targets to create 3,600 new field schools that will serve over 90,000 farmers this season. The facilitators work under Rwanda Agriculture Board, as well as with farmer co-operatives and local governments.
Sylvestre Minani, a model farmer in Bugesera District, said the initiative will strengthen efforts geared at increasing productivity and household incomes.