BUGESERA — A Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) cassava growing project is expecting a bumper harvest capable of sustaining the food needs of the Eastern Province. This was revealed by Brig Gen. Alex Ibambasi, the officer in charge of the project in Gako, Bugesera District.
While speaking to a team of high ranking government officials on Monday, led by Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, Brig Gen. Ibambasi said over 500 people are so far employed on the cassava plantation.
The project spends Rwf 40 million per month on labourers’ wages, he added. “We are engaged in a massive crop production amounting to over 700 hectares which is quite huge by any dimension,” he said.
“We shall in due course be able to cater for the food needs of Bugesera and the entire province. It is in line with RDF’s commitment to participate in general development of the country.”
Dr. Agnes Kalibata, the Minister of Agriculture, who was part of the visiting team, revealed that plans are under way to secure a small cassava processing plant for the project.
“We plan to buy a small-sized processing machine worth Rwf 300 million in the short run. We shall however, go for the Rwf 2 billion mega machine in the near future,” she said.
Dr. Ephraim Kabaija, the Governor of Eastern Province, advised the project managers to ensure that harvested cassava is dried on time as a preservation mechanism.
RDF is expanding its project to double the current hectares, according to sources, and will start using irrigation techniques during the dry spell.