Farmers have acclaimed the call to stockpile some of their produce during the forthcoming harvesting period.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Agnes Kalibata, urged farmers to resist the temptation to sell all their produce during the harvest period.
Farmers say that it is important to store the produce because the nation has, in the past, been heavily affected by unpredictable weather patterns.
Alice Mukandutiye of Rugeramigozi Maize Cooperative in Muhanga District says that storage facilities are still a big problem among cooperatives.
Rice and banana farmers insist that storage of food should be emphasised.
“The foodstuffs market is unpredictable, but prices can be manageable if farmers produce and stock in plenty.
“This will help us to stop depending on food from regional countries,” says Alexis Twagiramungu, a banana farmer and businessman in Cyeza Sector in Muhanga District.
“Due to the fact that some of our neighbouring countries were hit by hunger, there is a big market for the food; but if you don’t store enough food to sustain you, there is a possibility that we also might experience the same,” Kalibata advised farmers.
There have been reports of extreme hunger in neighbouring Burundi and in some parts of Kenya and Uganda.
The Minister added that money could be used to lure farmers into selling all they have, but requested them to resist from the temptation and think about their families’ welfare in the long run.
She also advised the farmers against selling their harvest in the fields saying that the practice devalues the produce.