As drought and famine continues to loom over the Horn of Africa and the East African region, Rwandans are advised to stock food reserves and desist from selling surplus produce.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Agnes Kalibata, in an exclusive interview with The New Times, warned that the prevailing drought is likely to continue.
“The message is clear to all Rwandans…we need to be careful about this period and stock more food for ourselves,” she cautioned
Rwanda is still considered food secure.
Reports indicate that more than 10 million people are affected by hunger across the East African region. Recently, the UN warned that people especially from northern Kenya and Somalia are now in the “emergency” category, just a step away from being classified as famine.
The Minister noted that food scarcity in northern Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Tanzania have led to soaring food prices, warning that this should not drive Rwandans to sell off all their food reserves.
According to the UN, East Africa and the Horn of Africa have been hit by the worst drought in 60 years, causing children in some countries to suffer the worst cases of malnutrition.
Kalibata pointed out that unlike last year, this season was good for farmers.
“We had a very good season from January-June in terms of rain and we have realised good yields. We are not affected by this problem of hunger as it is the case with other regional countries,” said the minister.
“We, in fact, have 50 percent more food than last year mainly because of the different programs, which the government has embarked on, and of course the favourable weather conditions,” she said.
Some of the programs include crop intensification and land consolidation.