Rwamagana - Several farmers in Kirehe and Gatsibo districts have failed to pay for fertilisers which they were given on credit by Rwanda Agriculture Development Agency (RADA).
Josian Irankunda Karisori, coordinator of Crop Intensification programme in the Ministry of Agriculture, says farmers owe RADA over Rwf 500 million worth of fertilisers.
“It is unfortunate that farmers are reluctant to pay for the fertilizers. For the sake of sustainability of the scheme, farmers have got to pay back,” she said.
Irankunda urged local leaders to sensitize farmers to ensure timely clearance of the credit if they were to obtain more fertilizers for the next season.
“It is not that they do not have the money due to poor harvests as some of them claim. The problem is poor attitude; they feel the government is supposed to give them free fertilizers.”
Protais Murayira, the Mayor of Kirehe, promised to launch a recovery campaign in the district.
“We want to take up the issue seriously. A few months ago, we were battling with thieves and smugglers who took fertilizers consignment to neighbouring countries, where they sold it on give away prices,” he said.
Meanwhile Dr. Jean Jacques Mbonigaba Muhinda of Cahirma Task Force for Irrigation and Mechanization told The New Times that farmers in the province are being encouraged to shift to mechanized agriculture.
He added that farmers will be availed with tractors to work on their farms so that high yields are realised.
“We are embarking on agricultural mechanization…cultivating, planting and harvesting will be done by machines. Farmers can hire or buy the machines, since we guarantee after sales services,” he said.