Small holder farmers in the neighbourhood of King Faisal Hospital will in the coming days receive support to make the most of the surrounding land and marshland for agricultural activities.
The commitment was made by the hospital and district officials during the monthly Umuganda exercise in Bukinanyana village, Kamatamu cell.
The support involves and began with tree planting in the areas to improve soil fertility as well as facilitating them embrace the latest farming techniques.
Andrea Malet, the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at the hospital said that through agro-forestry they will conserve the environment and soil fertility thus benefitting farmers.
“We planted trees that can improve the soil fertility. The trees will also curb any erosion and disasters such as overly windy weather thus benefitting the surrounding community, especially farmers around the hospital,” she said.
She added that the hospital is committed to ensure that the environment around is protected so as to avoid pollution in the neighboring marshland.
“We are committed to protect the environment .We have a project to ensure clean waste management from our incineration system. Currently our engineers will look into how polluted water from the waste treatment system does not pollute the marshland as engineers work on a project for clean waste treatment,” she added.
Kacyiru Sector Executive Secretary Patrice Ndanga said that improved waste management will go a long way in improving farmers’ practices as waste water from the hospital could degrade the marshland and land used by farmers.
“We need a green city and better management of wetlands to curb pollution to the marshland. The waste water from the surrounding community is well managed,” he said.
The marshland around the hospital has not been very productive in the recent past.
The section covering 50 hectares often features a mix of crops including bananas, beans, sorghum, and sweat potatoes among others.
However this is set to change as farmers will now be exposed to modern and improved farming techniques to improve productivity and specialize on specific crops.
“The way you have been tilling this marshland must change and embrace modern farming with proper crops that can help improve your livelihoods. We will soon host a meeting and form women cooperatives to start exploiting the space by the end of December,” Ndanga told farmers in the area.
By growing specialty crops, farmers can tap into opportunities such as providing supplies to the hospital.
Currently, the hospital requires about 10 tonnes of vegetables and fruits spending an average of Rwf28 million a month.