The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) yesterday handed over 16 farm ponds and irrigation pumps worth Rwf32 million to farmers in Ntarama Sector, Bugesera District, to enable them to increase their agricultural production.
According to JICA Agriculture Programme Manager, Suzuki Fumihiko, the farmers will use the ponds to capture running water and store it for irrigation during the dry season.
“Each pond has a capacity of 120 cubic metres of water and can be used by the farmer before the rains come. Each beneficiary has an obligation of taking good care of their pond so that it can serve him for long,” Fumihiko told the farmers during his tour of the ponds yesterday.
Theoneste Harorimana, 34, one of the beneficiaries, said in an interview that he hopes that the pond in his farmland enables him to successfully grow tomatoes which are a big source of income in the area.
“Whenever I try to grow tomatoes, I get upset because they don’t mature due to lack of rain. Hopefully, I will obtain a good harvest this time round,” Harorimana said.
Officials from Rwanda Agriculture Development Agency, who were present during the tour, pledged continuous technical support to the farmers as well as monitor the impact the ponds will have on agricultural production.
In a related development, a $5 million technical cooperation project on rice and horticulture will be launched in Bugesera and Ngoma Disctricts in the Eastern Province next month.
The three-year project will aim to boost the production of rice and horticultural products and is expected to benefit 34 rice and 59 horticulture cooperatives.