Rwamagana— Eastern province is embarking on an ambitious plan to transform itself into the food basket of the country. The Governor of Eastern Province, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, while unveiling the plan said that Eastern Province was set to be designated as the food basket of the country through a crop production initiative expected to cost Rwf 9 billion.
She was briefing journalists and mayors on the socio-economic development in Rwamagana, on Wednesday.
She said that part of this plan entails embracing modern irrigation, to check the long term effect of unreliable rainfall that has dogged the region in the past.
“This is the largest province in the country and that being the case, we are set on being the food basket of the country. At least Rwf 9 billion will be invested in crop production on an area of over 7,000 hectares,” she disclosed.
“The district of Nyagatare for instance has a target of producing 21,000 tonnes of rice, which is equal to the general rice imports into the whole country, ”she added.
The Governor further said that such new production levels in the province had the potential of sustaining various established industries in the country.
“You cannot talk of industries without sustainable raw material to feed it. So, we expect to be at the forefront of boosting increased industrial production through stepped up agricultural production.”
Protais Murayira, the Mayor of Kirehe district said that crop production in area will triple with the new approach involving irrigation.
He added that one third of the district was not productive enough, due to effects of drought.
“We were crippled by relying on rain fed agriculture. At least three districts for instance never produced as per set targets due to poor rains. But we recently constructed two big water dykes and are now ready for outright irrigation process to end drought and famine,” he said.
Mayors pledged to continue developing infrastructure in their respective districts, to meet the required demands of development.
The local leaders further promised to improve public utilities and social amenities in the districts.