NYAGATARE — At least 30 agronomists from all the 30 districts across the country, yesterday met in Nyagatare District to share experiences on how to improve farming in their respective areas.
The study tour was organised by Rwandan Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA), to help participants share best practices on how to improve farming, according to RALGA official, Josephine Uwimana.
“We got funding from Belgium Development Agency (BTC) to promote capacity building among local leaders. That’s why we are carrying out study tours with district agronomists across the country to share ideas and knowledge on how to improve agriculture,” Uwimana said.
According to Uwimana, study tours will be carried out across the country and the agronomists will sit together to discuss how to improve farming in their respective districts.
“We not only finance study tours for district officials, but also make follow up on what they learn from fields. They also create corporate emails where they keep exchanging ideas.”
The delegation toured Nyagatare Maize Investment Group (NYAMIG) where they were briefed about the group’s Inventory and Credit system commonly known as Warrantage.
Financed by Research into Use (RIU) in collaboration with Duterimbere Micro Finance Institution, the credit system is a new programme that allows Nyagatare farmers to use their harvest as security to access credit.
The farmer’s harvest is stored in a warehouse or grain storage until the loan is serviced.
In an interview, Marie Alice Mukayizere, Rusizi District agronomist, said the system was worth adopting in her district.
“There is a wide market for agricultural produce in Rusizi, especially from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. We are going to mobilise our farmers to adopt the new system as it is more profitable and productive,” she said.
RIU’s country coordinator, Augustin Mutijima, said that the project currently operates in a few districts in the Eastern Province, but promised full support to farmers who may apply the new system.
“RIU finances Warrantage in some districts of the Eastern Province. This means that we shall continue to work with the government in facilitating farmers to access markets for their production,” he said.