Nyagatare - The projected maize harvest of 88,000 tonnes from Nyagatare District this season is expected to reduce by at least 20 percent as a result of a prolonged dry spell that has hit plantations.
The drought has affected hectares of maize plantations in the district especially in the sectors of Nyagatare, Karangazi and Rwimiyaga.
Fulgence Mutabaruka, the district agronomist, said in an interview that the drought hit maize plantations at an early stage, and hectares of maize will not reach harvesting stage.
The spell, according to Mutabaruka, is unique compared to other seasons and the district has responded immediately by helping farmers to irrigate their farms as a way of mitigating the problem.
“The district has mobilized farmers to irrigate their maize plantations in the affected sectors. We provide plastic tents and watering cans to see if we can minimize the loss,” he said.
Of the three sectors, Nyagatare is the most affected.
According to James Gakuru, the Executive Secretary of the sector, of the 10,553 tonnes of maize expected to be harvested in the sector, a loss of 760 tonnes will be registered.
“We have about 190 hectares of maize fields that will not yield any production”.