The State Minister for Agriculture, Tony Nsanganira, has called on farmers to practice modern farming to boost production.
Nsanganira made the remarks early this week in Nyagatare District, at an event to launch Agriculture 2017 Season A.
The event,that involved demonstration modern farming techniques, brought together farmers from different cooperatives, district and Rwanda Agriculture Board officials, partners in agriculture and investors.
At the launch, machines were used to cultivate Cyembogo marshland in Matimba sector, where maize will be planted during this season A.
Nsanganira noted that government invests a lot of money to promote use of technology in agriculture sector.
“The use of technology in farming enhances production. Fertilisers also should be used to complement mechanisation. We are receiving investors who are willing to work with farmers to develop agriculture sector. This partnership will significantly impact the sector,” Nsanganira said.
At least seven companies are in place to boost modern farming by providing cultivation machines, according to the ministry.
The minister noted that there is a big difference between traditional farming and modern farming.
He told farmers that climate change is not a local issue but a global one, but its effects can be minimised with proper farming practices.
“Prolonged drought due to climate change last season affected our production. But now there are different ways to prevent losses through irrigation and use of fertilisers,” he added.
Farmers were also urged on team work and hard work.
The Mayor of Nyagatare, George Mupenzi, promised that the district will help farmers with seeds, ferltilisers, and monitoring the use and function of the machines.
The equipment are to be hired from private companies.
According to Rwanda Agriculture Board, mechanisation improves land productivity, saves time, and eases work, among other advantages.
Several farmers testified that their farm yields increased ever since they started applying fertilisers.
Lucie Mukamurangira, a farmer, said since she adopted new farming methods, her yields increased, adding that good collaboration with owners of the machines will help them harvest more and save their time.
The mechanisation programme started in Rwanda in 2009 to promote use of machinery in different farming operations for rural farmers, including post- harvest activities.