NYAGATARE - The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, has called on farmers in Nyagatare district to double their efforts in agricultural production.
Addressing thousands of Nyagatare residents who had turned up to celebrate World Food Day in Nyagatare sector on Thursday, the Minister said that Rwandans should use the celebrations to reflect further and put in more efforts to develop the country through increased agricultural production to ensure food security.
“We are celebrating World Food Day but you still have a long way to go in producing more. If Rwandans maximise food production, it becomes easier for the country to fight poverty and enhance development,” she said.
The Minister told residents that the government, through her Ministry, worked tirelessly to enable its population to emerge from poverty by providing the necessary agricultural inputs like fertilisers.
After the government’s support, the minister added, the rest of the job remains in the hands of residents to double their production.
“My Ministry’s job is to provide you with necessities like fertilisers and advise you on how to effectively apply it. The country expects bumper yields from you if you effectively use these fertilizers,” she said.
She reminded the crowd that the use of fertilisers helps crops to fight diseases and resist drought.
“Crops grown with fertilisers are like a child feeding on milk. You see, when you apply these fertilisers; the crops grow healthy and can fight many diseases and drought,” she said, assuring farmers that there was a ready market for their agricultural products.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the event, the Minister explained that Nyagatare district had been chosen to host the celebrations because it had overcome the legacy of hunger.
“Nyagatare used to be a food deficit district in recent years but today, the district is a role model in food security which is why we decided that this day would be celebrated here,” the Minister said.
The district Mayor, Fred Sabiti Atuhe, said that the district’s target is to consolidate 44,000 hectares of land for farming purposes.
“Our target is to go beyond 44, 000 hectares of land where production will remarkably increase as well,” he said.
Officials from the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation commended the government of Rwanda for being a role model on the African continent in ensuring food security for its citizens. Earlier in the day, the minister joined farmers in a maize weeding exercise as part of the celebrations.
She also toured an inventory credit system (also known as ‘warrantage’ in French) which allows farmers to have access to credit while using their harvest as a guarantee for the borrowed funds.