Rwamagana - The government has started a campaign to increase maize production countrywide.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Agriculture and Animal husbandry, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, at a ceremony to unveil over 100 tonnes of new maize hybrids, produced by Nsinda Prison, yesterday.
According to prison authorities, the new maize varieties from Kenya, which are highly resistant to diseases, among other attributes, were tested and planted at Nsinda Prison farm.
Kalibata said that the country, whose economy largely depends on agriculture, was set to produce enough for both domestic and foreign consumption.
She said that Nsinda Prison should aim at producing 500 tonnes of maize next season.
“It is great that the efforts invested in the maize production were not wasted. We now produce hybrid seeds and no longer need to import it,” she said.
The Deputy Commissioner of Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS), Mary Gahonzire, said that despite adverse weather conditions, production was high.
She disclosed that more land had been prepared to increase maize production in Miyove, Rilima and Nsinda Prisons.
“The idea of crop production was well perceived by all stakeholders...we had a bumper harvest last year of over 200 tonnes of maize. This translates into Rwf 103 million, not a bad beginning,” Gahonzire observed.
The Mayor of Rwamagana District, Neheme Uwimana, noted that the district’s population would be privileged to get hybrid maize seeds.
“When the prison relocated some people to expand its production, they were some complaints. But I knew it was a blessing in disguise,” he said.
Rwanda needs 3,000 tonnes of maize seeds in the coming season.