NYAGATARE district plans to cultivate maize on over 11, 742 hectares of land this growing season, with a projected harvest of more than 52,839 tonnes.
The district agronomist, Fulgence Mutabaruka, told The New Times that mechanisms have been laid out to mitigate the effects of long dry spell which normally affect production.
“The season has already started and planting is going on smoothly. We are targeting 11,742 hectares of maize, and an estimated 4.5 tonnes from each hectare,” he said.
“It’s true we experienced a harsh dry spell that affected several hectares of maize last season. However, thanks to the collaboration with the district and the Ministry of Agriculture, we now have appropriate measures in place to deal with the dry spell.”
Last season, about 20% of the targeted 88, 000 tonnes of maize production targeted in the district was destroyed due to a prolonged draught.
The most hit sectors were Nyagatare, Karangazi, Rwimiyaga and some parts of Katabagemu.
The district agronomist said that, as part of the strategies to ensure good harvests, plastic sheeting for irrigation water reservation were being distributed to farmers across the district.
The new irrigation system is expected to reduce effects of draught by at least 60%, Mutabaruka stressed.
He said residents have also been facilitated to dig up water channels that will direct water into their gardens.
David Habarurema, a modern farmer in Katabagemu Sector, expressed optimism for higher yields this season, following the introduction of the new irrigation system.