RWAMAGANA-Local leaders in Eastern Province have been urged to focus on efforts geared towards boosting agricultural production to avoid food shortages.
The Minister of Agriculture Dr. Agnes Kalibata, noted that agriculture that contributes 30 percent of country’s national wealth should be given an upper hand.
She was speaking at sector’s stakeholders meeting in the Province, Tuesday.
“We can’t afford to relax...it is true that countries in the region experience food crisis. We have no problem because we produced more than we consumed, and thus were able to store for future use. This is the trend we must follow,” she emphasised.
Dr. Kalibata also called for timely and proper application of artificial fertilisers.
EAC Minister, Monique Mukaruriza, reiterated the need to help people improve crop productivity across districts.
She observed that most of Eastern Province is flat and can facilitate mechanised agriculture.
“We can’t continue importing more than we export. Most of the rice we eat is imported...there is trade imbalance as a result. Rice production for instance should be maximised, so that we start exporting the crop.”
Legislator Charles Kamanda called for upgrading of feeder roads to link production areas to markets.
“Much as we encourage farmers to focus on boosting production, we should be able to help them access markets. This is the best way of enabling them to sell at good prices...it is a kind of motivation you can’t do without,” he said.
The stakeholders’ meeting was also attended by businesspersons and religious leaders.