KIGALI - The agricultural exhibition held at Mulindi ended on high note yesterday, with farmers calling upon the government to increase agricultural storage facilities in the country.
The function, presided over by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Agnes Kalibata, included rewarding the best exhibitors and farmers.
The overall best exhibitor was Jain Drip and Irrigation Systems Limited, an Indian based agricultural company which supplies irrigation equipment.
Speaking to The New Times, Eric Ntukabumwe, the chairman of Nyagatare Maize Investment Group (NYAMIG), which emerged the best local exhibitor said; “On behalf of our cooperative, I encourage fellow farmers to promote mechanisation in agricultural sector because it will help them achieve their targeted goals in terms of production.”
He noted that before they adopted mechanisation, their cooperative used to harvest an average of three tonnes of maize per hectare but this has since shot up to over five tonnes on the same piece of land.
“The use of modern farming like mechanisation is very important. For example, planting maize on a hectare costs about Rwf300, 000 but when you harvest it, the output is worth Rwf1million” Ntukabumwe said.
He said that the use of modern machines can help farmers to carry out their activities without waiting to cultivate during the rainy seasons.
The ministry also gave tractors to each of the best three farmers who participated in the exhibition.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ernest Ruzindaza said that the exhibition attracted over 140 firms, with 40 being foreign.
He added that between 8,000 and 10,000 people a day visited the show.
Telesphore Rucibiraro from Gakenke District, who was the best farmer, said “I thank MINAGRI for giving me a small tractor because it will help me increase production on my farm and change the social wellbeing of my family.
Kalibata encouraged Rwandan farmers to strive for quality farming through the use of modern techniques saying that this enables them to compete at the regional and international markets.