KAYONZA/GATSIBO-More than 2,000 cassava farmers drawn from 115 cooperatives in Rwamagana, Kayonza, Ngoma and Gatsibo districts have undergone training in modern farming methods.
The training was conducted by the Great Lakes Cassava Initiative (GLCI), in partnership with Rwanda Rural Rehabilitation Initiative (RWARRI) and Catholic Relief Service (CRS).
GLCI operates in Kenya, DR Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda.
During the training, the instructors from GLCI carried out field trips around cassava plantations and taught farmers how to tackle cassava diseases and plant productive cassava cuttings.
Celestin Hitimana, an agronomist and coordinator of the project said that the training programme started in 2007 to encourage cassava farmers to improve production as a poverty reduction measure.
Grace Mukankuranga, a model cassava farmer told The New Times that the training facilitated them to improve production by abandoning subsistence farming methods to modern ones.
‘‘At first, we could grow cassava but get poor yields. But this training has taught us a lot. We even intend to set up a cassava processing factory on our own,’’ she said.
Sixty seven percent of the trainees were women. Each cooperative projects an annual turnover of over Rwf12 million.