RWAMAGANA - The permanent secretary in the ministry of agriculture, Ernest Ruzindana, yesterday met local leaders in Eastern Province and urged them to promote modern farming in villages as the next season, 2011A, draws nearer.
Acknowledging that the efforts so far in the agriculture sector are satisfying, he said agricultural transformation must be emphasised due to its economic importance.
“Agriculture affects our GDP by over 35%, so we must practice modern agriculture in order to maximize production especially that of cereal crops like maize, because they can be stocked for long,” he said.
Provincial governor Dr. Ephraim Kabaija advised the leaders to sensitise farmers to plant seeds and apply fertiliser on time so as to ensure improved yields.
“There are enough seeds and logistics to supply the fertilisers. It is therefore up to you. I will not accept any excuse whatsoever from you as executors,” he said.
Meanwhile, the system of ensuring availability of fertilisers has been revised and farmers will have to pay at least half the price before obtaining it.
According to Rwamagana vice mayor in charge of economic affairs, Benson Muhikira, the mode of payment was revised after most farmers failed to pay for the fertilizers they had received on credit over the past years.
“Farmers used to relax when it came to paying for the fertilisers given on credit, hence causing us a lot of problems. Today, they will be paying at least half of the cost beforehand,” he said.
The main crops expected to be grown in the province under the land consolidation programme include maize, cassava, bananas, rice and sorghum.