NGOMA- The Ministry of Agriculture, yesterday, introduced several mobile clinics in Ngoma District as part of its countrywide roll-out of the facilities.
The clinics are operated by crop specialists to identify the causes of plant diseases and seek remedies.
During the launch, several farmers carried with them crop samples to the mobile clinics for diagnosis of diseases and pest control.
“We are experiencing a historical moment in our community…we have never had pest control methods at our door step before,” said Jean Claude Habimana, a maize farmer in Jarama Sector.
Another farmer, Nepomscene Murangwa, observed that it was high time farmers began reaping reasonable profits from their produce following the launch of the clinic in the area.
“Accessing expertise and other forms of services is very encouraging. Without such services, agriculture remains a huge gamble. We are extremely happy that the mobile clinics will reach every corner in our communities,” he said.
According to officials from the ministry, the clinics are part of agricultural extension services to small-scale farmers.
The district agronomist, Vedaste Rutayisire, said that the clinics were a new innovation to deliver primary crop healthcare to farmers, adding that the strategy had attracted wide interest from rural farmers.
“With the clinic, agronomists will diagnose problems and prescribe solutions. Where necessary, samples may be sent to partner labs giving rural farmers access to world class diagnostic services,” he observed.
The Mayor of Ngoma District, Francois Ntiyotwagira said that the community-based clinics had the potential to help farmers and make agriculture a viable venture.
He noted that the clinics were vital in resource-poor communities where advisory services are often scarce, and beyond the reach of hundreds of small farmers.
“Such clinics provide an opportunity to coordinate the efforts of extension, research, government regulation and input supply to reach more people and use existing resources more efficiently,” he noted.