KAYONZA – Farmers from the districts of Kayonza, Gatsibo and Rwamagana concluded a one-week training in modern methods of farming.
The training, organised by the Rwanda Rural Rehabilitation Initiative (RWARRI), focused on the importance of cooperatives.
The chief coordinator of the initiative, John Bideri, said that the training was in line with an initiative to improve farmers’ skills and knowledge in modern farming.
He said that trained farmers have been aggressively multiplying and distributing mosaic-resistant and tolerant cassava varieties, and giving appropriate production tips to other farmers.
Bideri said the training was, above all, aimed at helping farmers to form cooperatives, so as to enjoy the accrued benefits. “Agriculture is everything here, because over 80 percent of our people practice it. They depend on agriculture for their livelihood”.
“We want to come up with agro-based factories – food processing plants. We think agriculture is critical to us, and we are giving agriculture the due emphasis that it is supposed to have,” he said.
RWARRI field coordinator Richard Kamuhanda reiterated the importance of forming cooperatives as a basis of improving agriculture.
He said that unless farmers form cooperatives they will never make reasonable profits.
He added that they intend to go a further step into specialized technical training for the farmers.
“Agro-based cooperatives have thrilled in the region, which is why we found it imperative to train our farmers. After the training we follow them up in their fields to see with our own eyes how they implement the skills acquired,” he said.
Rudoviko Byihorere, 67, one of the trained farmers, said they had gained much in the training, especially, in the formation of cooperatives and on crop diversification.
“We can now change from cassava to Banana growing depending on what is convenient for us. And as for the cooperatives, we now know how to effectively manage a cooperative,” he said.
RWARRI is a non-governmental organization dedicated to the promotion and improvement of social-economic welfare of rural communities in Rwanda.