Farmers in Mimuli Sector, Nyagatare District, on Monday, received new irrigation equipment, worth about Rwf20 million. It is expected to boost their farming activities.
The equipment was donated by Atlantis Microfinance Ltd, through a partnership with the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), to Amizero Iwacu Farmers’ Cooperative.
The equipment is expected to help the cooperative expand and stabilise its production capacity by reducing its reliance on rainfall and unpredictable weather circumstances, according to officials.
The equipment included six generators, 12 rain guns, and 240 pipes to irrigate 64 hectares of farm land.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Innocent Nzayimana, the head of irrigation and mechanisation department at RAB, said it was good to see some concrete and practical developments in the area and urged more financial institutions to reach out to smallholder farmers.
He reaffirmed government’s commitment to the growth of agriculture in Rwanda.
Alfred Ndayisaba, the acting managing director of Atlantis MFI, said their intention is to reach more farmers to provide funding for their projects.
“We profiled more than 250,000 farmers and today the information (bio data, locations with GPS and key agronomics) collected from them will help us to extend to them such kind of facility. We are linked to the famers using mobile phones whereby the farmers can apply and send their loan request without necessarily coming to the bank,” he said.
The FAO assistant country representative, Dr Otto Muhinda, asked the cooperative members to take care of the equipment given to them and pledged that FAO will continue providing technical and financial support to farming cooperatives and farmers countrywide.
Nyagatare District vice mayor for social affairs Didas Kayitare lauded the initiative as a great step towards the modernisation of agricultural practices in the rural areas of the country and towards achieving financial inclusion of the population, both of which are key aspects of Rwanda’s long-term development agenda.