KIREHE- Kirehe Community-based Watershed Management Project (KWAMP), a local organisation, has offered to fund coffee farming on hillsides in Kirehe and Ngoma districts.
The projects will be funded in partnership with the two districts.
Janvier Gasasira, the coordinator of KWAMP, told The New Times that a budget of over US$25,000 was in place to support the coffee project.
He noted that most of the districts were dominated by steep hills, adding that it was illogical to rely on traditional flat areas to grow coffee.
“Most of Ngoma and Kirehe is hilly. We can’t therefore afford to leave such big chunks of land unutilised,” he said.
He added that farmers will be organised into groups and provided with support to maximise the use of fertilisers.
“During the last coffee season, we made Rwf 350 million from a few hectares...this time our target goes well beyond Rwf 2 billion.”
Kirehe District Mayor, Protais Murayire, said that farmers in the area had obtained sufficient farming skills for hillside coffee growing.
He noted that with the abundance of fertilisers and agronomists, coffee production was expected to rise.
“We commend the support of KWAMP in promoting agriculture in our district. Farmers are highly motivated and will not take lightly the chance to plant coffee on steep hills. Coffee prices at Rwf 300 per kilogram are also farmer-friendly,” he said.
Jean D’amour Ndikubwimana, 62, a coffee grower in Rukumberi Sector of Ngoma district, however, said that cultivating coffee on high hills may be challenging.
He wondered whether special tractors would be availed to farmers to facilitate meaningful coffee growing on steep hills.
“The whole idea is superb...it is true that most of our land is hilly. But, we must remember what it takes to make hilly areas productive,” he warned.