RUSIZI - The Ministry of Agriculture plans to construct a dam for Bugarama rice farmers in Rusizi district, as part of efforts to check persistent water shortages in the area.
The Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Kalibata, disclosed this on Monday, during her visit to Bugarama, to unveil the training of rice growers on various ways of increasing their production.
“Water shortage came as a result of dividing big farms into small fragments. That’s why the government insists that you keep the farms the way they were given to you. We intend to resolve the water issue by building a dam soon,” she said.
The farmers were advised to always plant in the right season, control pests and avoid mixed cropping so as to improve their rice yields.
The farmers would be helped by a team of agricultural extension workers, according to the Ministry.
Kalibata further urged the farmers to use the swamp without breaching the government’s regulations on wetlands use.
Farmers complained of unscrupulous rice buyers who normally fix prices low. In response, the minister suggested that buyers should always sit with the farmers and agree on the prices without exploiting the farmers.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, advised farmers to aim for higher productivity , saying the price of Bugarama rice at the international market is set to rise.