Kirehe—The Governor of Eastern Province, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, pledged to support rural agricultural farmers in Kirehe District, to increase production.
The Governor, who was accompanied by district, Provincial and Ministry of Agricultural officials, was visiting banana, maize and coffee farmers in the district.
The Governor told exemplary farmers working in cooperatives that authorities from all levels would help them maximise production.
Agriculture as a backbone of the country’s economy must be given the importance it deserves, she observed.
“The high yields you got will not only make you proud and rich, but the whole country will benefit. Maize growers serve WFP (World Food Programme)...this is an international market at your door steps.
We shall help you in project formulation and consequent access to loans,” she told jubilant farmers.
Kirabo, however, warned farmers against malpractices by some farmers, who trade fertilisers given to them at subsidised prices.
“Tell your friends and neighbours that selling fertilisers is illegal and self destructive. You know well that some of you experience low production because you don’t apply fertilisers as required.”
Epaphrodite Rutayisire, the chairperson of Mushikiri Banana growers’ Cooperatives, said they looked forward to mechanised agriculture after embracing modern farming.
“We are a step ahead in modern banana growing...we only need assistance so that mechanised agriculture takes over from hand hoes.
Cooperative members are for sure, by far, beyond the so called poverty-line,” he noted.
Juvenal Bamuraba, a coordinator of Coffee farmer’s cooperative in Musaza Sector, said their target was to start working on large scale farms.
“It is astonishingly true that last season, a member whose yields were high walked away with a profit of Rwf 800,000, while one with the lowest yields, was paid Rwf 250.000. This explains why we need more machines to prepare coffees beans,” he said.
Kirehe District remains highly productive despite last season’s protracted drought.