MUHANGA - Farmers’ cooperatives and Muhanga District have introduced a policy that will see farmers sign contracts committing to pay for fertilizers to help reverse the previous trend of getting government loaned manure, which most failed to repay.
Coffee farmers agreed to pay Rwf 560 per Kilogram and sign repayment contracts with suppliers and district officials.
The farmers also resolved to repay for the fertilizers after every harvest and authorised the coffee farmers’ cooperatives to take full responsibility of monitoring the process.
The development was announced Wednesday at a meeting that brought together coffee farmers, cooperatives and district officials that was aimed at resolving the issue of farmers’ failure to repay arrears on fertilizers.
The farmers indicated that contractors had suspended supply, a factor that negatively affected their harvests, hence the commitment.
Muhanga District vice Mayor in charge of economic affairs, François Uhagaze, said that the decision was timely since the production of coffee had gone below their expectations.
“The district has favorable soils for coffee production but the general harvest, in quality and quantity, is not up to standard. This decision will enable farmers’ cooperatives meet the set requirements,” Uhagaze said.
Muhanga district plans on producing 840 tonnes of coffee in 2012 from over 746 tonnes expected to be harvested this year.
The federation of cooperatives in the area, UGMA CSC, also welcomed the decision by the farmers and affirmed their commitment to provide more support to cooperatives.
An official from the federation, Alexia Nyirangendahimana, also stressed that child labour should be abolished in coffee farms.
She said that this has retarded the growth and future of children and farmers cooperative should awaken to the issue immediately.