Farmers go Hi-tech for subsidised fertilisers

KIGALI - The Ministry of Agriculture has introduced a system where farmers will be able to get fertilisers at subsidised prices using their electronic identity cards at agro-sales points near them.
Dr. Agnes Kalibata (C)  during the press conference yesterday (Photo; F. Goodman)
Dr. Agnes Kalibata (C) during the press conference yesterday (Photo; F. Goodman)

KIGALI - The Ministry of Agriculture has introduced a system where farmers will be able to get fertilisers at subsidised prices using their electronic identity cards at agro-sales points near them.

Under the new system aimed at increasing farm productivity, the portable ticket-like vending machine will be used to register the kind of fertiliser that the farmer needs.

It’s this ticket that will be presented to the agro products sales points.

The machines with a latest technology have been imported and will be installed in each sector, where farmers will use their national IDs to print vouchers that will enable them access fertilisers from suppliers.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, said that the new technology will improve farming standards and productivity.  

“The printers will help the ministry to easily follow and monitor farmers’ activities, and also identify the right fertilisers that suit the various crops grown in the country,”
Kalibata added that the new technology, coupled with improved agricultural mechanisation, will enable the agricultural sector to maintain its 80 percent contribution to Gross Domestic Product as well as avail farmers with the capacity to fully utilise land resources.

Francois Nsengiyunva, chairman of Task Force for Post Harvest and Storage, commended the initiative.
“Initially, farmers have had the challenge of producing only what they can consume because they don’t have the capacity to produce more. However, this initiative will motivate them to increase their output and also further support local and regional markets,” Nsengiyunva said.

Kalibata also added that the Ministry is set to import tractors that will terrace land in hilly areas so that farmers can have extra land to cultivate.

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