Bugesera- A Rwf 6.7 billion rice project launched by the Bugesera Agricultural Development Project, PADAB, will improve people’s welfare in the district.
The comments were made yesterday as Eastern Province officials toured the nine-kilometre swamp, stretching along River Akanyaru.
The delegation of all stakeholders in the project led by the Governor of Eastern Province, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, commended the 1,000-hectares project that covers the sectors of Mwogo and Juru.
Jean Baptiste Rwigema, PADAB coordinator, said the project has the capacity to produce 10,400 tonnes of rice per season.
He noted that the swamp was primed to allow constant water supply throughout all seasons.
“We have invested highly in expertise...the ridges will be able to hold water from River Kanyaru, and release it when needed. We also have specialised pumps to pump water in and out of rice fields,” he said.
Hassine Abdelkrim, PADAB Chief Engineer, said the project would highly be dependent on sustainable irrigation.
At least 700 hectares along the hill sides will benefit from the irrigation system.
“We are talking of large scale rice farming that is not dependent on rain water...there will be regulation of the river water to maximise production,” he said.
Noel Ntuyenabo, 39, a PADAB employee said the project has already changed people’s livelihoods.
“All these people you see here were jobless until the rice project started. At least 400 people meet their basic needs, due to the earnings from PADAB. Certainly, the future is bright,” he said.
The Governor told the residents to work hard and utilise their proximity to a ready market in Kigali.
“It is up to you...the project is at your door steps, Burundi and Kigali markets are all around you. The proximity you enjoy is rare, which is why, your present and future is promising,” she said.
The project will be completed in March next year, while the first yield is expected in July the same year.