National Harvest Day, Umuganura, celebrations should be an opportunity to set new targets for improved harvest in the next agriculture seasons as well as other areas to develop the country, Julienne Uwacu has said.
Uwacu, the minister for sports and culture, was yesterday speaking during celebrations of National Harvest Day in Busasamana Sector in Nyanza District.
The minister said Umuganura is the pillar of self-reliance resulting from economic performance, family welfare and national dignity where Rwandans celebrate achievement, share harvest as well as support those who failed to get harvest.
She said on Umuganura Day, Rwandans come together to reflect on the value based home-grown solutions and how everyone can be part of the country’s social economic development.
Historically, Umuganura was celebrated to thank God and Rwandans for the harvest and to plan for the next season.
However, according minister Uwacu, the current celebrations have changed the meaning and feature industrial as well as service gains.
Uwacu urged citizens to use the day as an opportunity to discuss ways to improve agricultural harvest and other income generating activities to become self-reliant and foster the culture of unity and reconciliation among themselves.
She said that celebrating the harvest day is an opportunity to be proud of Rwanda’s culture and safeguard it.
“This day should be a source of unity and self-reliance as we celebrate agriculture gains, industrial and service harvest,” she said, adding it is also a month to celebrate good leadership as it was celebrated shortly after Rwandans elected President Kagame for the next seven year term.
“For the family, Umuganura should be an opportunity for parents and children to sit together and discuss how they can develop as family is the foundation of the nation,” she added.
The minister said that Umuganura also brings people together to interact and seek ways to fast-track national development.
She urged leaders and citizens to work together to achieve more productivity not only in agriculture but also in other domains.
“Basing on our culture, we have managed to achieve a lot, decided to make our own choices and we still need to keep the momentum,” she noted.
“Striving to work purposely should be a responsibility of all of us, as we strive to develop our country, we should work together and ensure no body is left behind.”
The day was preceded by night cultural event which is known as “Nyanza Twataramye,” which was marked by cultural songs and dances.
The event was marked by various activities, including exhibition of achievements, drumming and testimonies of individuals among others.
As part of the event, 400 cows were donated by RwandAir to vulnerable people.
Send a cow also donated 12 cows as part of Girinka Munyarwanda programme.
Impact on life
Eugenie Mukakarisa, in her testimony, said she has achieved a lot after embracing modern farming.
“I was very poor and lived a miserable life but life has changed after I started applying fertilisers to boost yields. I have participated in both national and international training. Besides, I have a modern house, cows and a banana plantation,” she said.
“I am a self-reliant woman and can afford to pay mutuelle de sante, and buy basic needs. I encourage other women to work hard and be more courageous,” she added.
Samuel Rugerinyange, 70, said Umuganura is historically one of the most important ceremonies celebrated by Rwandans every harvest season.
He urged Rwandans, especially the youth, to keep it alive.
“Rwandans celebrate harvest and share milk, sorghum and banana beer, honey, among others. Umuganura is part of our culture and it should be kept live despite modernity. The youth should ensure our culture is preserved,” he said.
Umuganura means tasting the first fruits of the harvest and is one of the inspiring pillars of dignity and solidarity of Rwandans since hundreds of years back.