RUHANGO – Over 700 members of Base Rice growers Cooperative (Coribaru) have started benefiting from the new rice thresher donated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The machine was officially handed over to the cooperative on June 10, by Fumihiko Suzuki, the JICA Agriculture Program Manager. Suzuki said that the support is intended to improve rice production activities in Rwanda. He revealed that 10 units of the thresher have been handed over to other major rice schemes.
“The idea is to share technology between the two countries. It is impressive to see that such machines are developed, by Rwandans trained in Japan, to suit the Rwandan context,” Suzuki stated.
The beneficiaries tried out the machine and hailed the Japanese government for the support. The cooperative’s chairman, Jean Bosco Ntawizihirwa, said that the equipment will improve on the activities of rice production by replacing the more laborious means that have been used in the past.
“The trials have indicated that the machine minimizes crop wastage as a farmer can thresh more quantities of harvested rice using less time and energy”, he said.
In addition farmers noted that the use of the machine saves time, costs and retains the quality and quantity of rice produced.
Ntawizihirwa revealed that the cooperative needs to purchase 50 additional machines so as to cover the 512 hectares of rice in the Base rice scheme.
The rice threshing machine costs over Rwf200,000 and was developed by Jean Claude Ndagano, an expert of Rwanda Agriculture Development Agency (RADA) after attaining a nine month training in Japan.