GATSIBO/NYAGATARE-Two hundred and seventy-six maize farmers in Nyagatare and Gatsibo districts completed a three-week training in post-harvest handling and storage (PHHS) skills.
Participants were drawn from nine maize cooperatives in the two districts.
PHHS is a US funded project, implemented by CARANA Corporation.
According to Jean Marie Vianney Hitayezu, a training specialist with PHHS, the project has so far trained maize farmers representing 19 maize and beans cooperatives in the Eastern Province.
“We trained all maize farmers’ cooperatives across the province. Our main target is to support government efforts to ensure sustainable food security, linking maize producers with surpluses of staple crops to markets,” he said.
During the training, farmers were facilitated to visit World Food Programme country offices where they were learned food storage and handling specifics
“They acquired hands-on skills at WFP offices and we hope that they improved in the above fields.”
John Sesonga, who represented WFP at the graduation ceremony held in Rukomo Sector, challenged the participants to become role models in maize production.
“I want to assure you that maize produced in Washington, New York and many other places is not different from what is produced here in Nyagatare. But the most important thing is how you handle and store it.
It is your turn to practice what you got from the training to become role models in maize production,” he said.
Damascene Ntunzwenimana, who represented the trainees, said that the skills they acquired would improve the quality of their produce.
“I once lost six tonnes of maize due to poor storage. But with this training, it such losses will be a thing of the past,” he said.
The head of cooperatives in Nyagatare District, Emmy Rucyema, requested the trainees to share their new skills with other farmers.