RUTSIRO - Prime Minister Bernard Makuza has called on farmers in the Western Province to adopt better methods of farming in order to increase agricultural production in the region.
Makuza, made the call, yesterday in Rutsiro District while officiating at the launch of the Land Husbandry, Water Harvesting and Hillside Irrigation project (LWH).
The first phase of the LWH project seeks to significantly improve agricultural production in 13 districts by encouraging farmers to harvest water and use it for irrigation, especially during the dry spells.
While addressing thousands of excited residents, Makuza said that: “In order to generate more income from agricultural yields, you should adopt good methods of farming, especially in such hilly areas where soil erosion is a common problem.”
He urged the farmers to construct terraces and develop the culture of irrigating crops. Makuza pointed out that by increasing revenue through agriculture, the country will be track to attaining full economic independence.
“We should all work hard to avoid depending on foreign aid and this is one of the ways of achieving that. This will also help us to support each other out of poverty,” he said.
One of the farmers, Jean Sindikubwabo, expressed optimism and hope that the project, which kicked off with the official opening of a six-hectare water collection reservoir, would greatly help them.
“There is double benefit from the project because the water collection reservoirs can also be used for fish farming in addition to crop irrigation,” he said.
Statistics from the district indicate that 80% of its economy depends on agriculture with most farmers engaged in planting of maize, wheat, Irish potatoes and coffee.
The Prime Minister congratulated the residents for overwhelmingly voting for President Paul Kagame in the just concluded presidential polls.
Agriculture Minister, Dr Agnes Kalibata, hailed the residents for their full support and exemplary agricultural performance in the last farming season.