The Ministry of Agriculture, through the Irrigation and Mechanisation Task Force, is putting in place a national program aimed at transforming agriculture to easily extend mechanisation services to farmers.
The Village Mechanisation Service Centres (VMSC) promotes the use of machines for farming.
In an exclusive interview with The New Times, the chairman of the Irrigation and Mechanisation Task Force, Dr. Jean Jacques Mbonigaba Muhinda, said that, “We want farmers to get access to these services without necessarily travelling to Kigali.”
He explained that this limits many farmers from using the service as it is costly therefore contributing to factors that affect yield.
The development relieves farmers who had to travel long distances to Kigali seeking services from the government owned agricultural mechanisation workshop established in Kabuye, Gasabo district.
VMSC`s cost government a sum of Rwf 45m each. So far, five have been established in the districts of Kerehe, Bugesera, Gastibo, Nyagatare and Nyanza.
“The centres will be equipped with various agricultural equipment like multipurpose tractors including power tillers, disc ploughs, trailers, water pumps and harvesters among others,” he said.
Muhinda explained that farmers would also be trained to take over the centres under specific agreements.
Under the agricultural mechanisation scheme, some farmers have acquired tractors on bank loans, but repair costs have posed challenges that these VMSC will address, according to Muhinda.