Member countries subscribing to the Great Lakes Economic Community, CEPGL, will soon embark on an extensive rice farming project on Rusizi marshland that cuts across Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC.
According to an official from the bloc, the project is expected to be launched next month by agriculture ministers of the three member states, a function that is expected to take place in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura.
Odette Kayitesi, the director of Agriculture and Food Security in the region, said that the project is funded by, among others, the Dutch Government through its organisation IFDC.
“The project will be implemented in four provinces of Rusizi (Rwanda), Cibitoke (Burundi), Uvira in North Kivu and South Kivu provinces of DRC,” said Kayitesi during an interview.
She added that they will employ modern methods of agriculture like irrigation and fertilizers to boost rice production in the region.
According to Kayitesi, the feasibility studies of the project have been completed and what remains now is implementation. Tractors and other equipment will be on the ground by September.
IFDC availed Euros 500,000 purposely to finance the feasibility studies and purchase of equipment, while other funds are expected to be provided by the African Development Bank and the European Union.
Kayitesi said that this would be the first project of its type where three CEPGL countries come together to foster agriculture.