Districts brace for poor harvest

The districts of Bugesera and Kirehe in the Eastern Province are ready to handle the aftermath of the poor rains, exhibited in most parts of the districts.
Nyamata main market. Farmers tend to sell all food and don't stock enough for future use. (Photo S. Rwembeho).
Nyamata main market. Farmers tend to sell all food and don't stock enough for future use. (Photo S. Rwembeho).

The districts of Bugesera and Kirehe in the Eastern Province are ready to handle the aftermath of the poor rains, exhibited in most parts of the districts.

According to authorities, the districts have the capacity to handle any possible food crisis up to the middle of season B.

This was revealed yesterday by the Mayor of Bugesera, Louis Rwagaju.
Speaking to The New Times, the Mayor said that the rains have been very poor, and most of the district expects low or no harvests at all.

Rwagaju said that the food stocks from some sectors can be relied upon for some months.

“We are definitely going to rely on sectors that touch lowlands and swamps...our highlands normally don’t yield crops this season. Sectors like Rweru and Gashora, can supply food to those affected,” he said.

“So, we can manage to supply food to sectors affected up to February 2011. But if season B behaves like this one, I am afraid we shall need intervention to feed our people”.

Meanwhile, Benson Muhikira the Vice Mayor in charge of economic affairs in Kirehe district said that the most affected sectors are ones normally relied on for food production.

He said that five sectors; Mpanga, Nasho, Mahama, Nyamugari and Kigarama hit hard by drought, are under the land consolidation programme.

He however said that some remedies have been devised, where resident will be provided with employment to get money and make ends meet.

“KWAMP project is going to employ thousands in terracing and feeder road construction. People will thus get money and buy food whenever necessary.”

Jean de Dieu Byukusenge, a resident of Rwanteru, said that the threats of drought are exacerbated by poor stocking methods.

“We had great harvests last season, and a drought in one season shouldn’t have been a threat if we had stocked the food. Farmers should be taught how to stock crops for a long time,” he said.

Unreliable rainfall is expected to affect food production in most parts of Eastern Province.

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