NGOMA-The newly appointed Governor of the Eastern Province, Odette Uwamariya, yesterday commended pineapples growers in Ngoma District during her familiarisation tour of the province.
She particularly paid tribute to agricultural cooperatives in the sectors of Mugesera and Jarama who await a bumper harvest this season.
She assured farmers of her continued support to maximise agricultural production in the sectors.
“There is no doubt that you are a hard working people…This good work should not stop here. Collective efforts are needed to further develop the agricultural sector in the province,” she told the pineapple farmers.
Ignace Hategekimana, the chairperson of Mugesera Pineapple Growers’ Cooperative, which supplies Inyange Industries, said that farmers’ livelihoods had changed as a result of the recent good yields.
He added that the shift from traditional cash crops had considerably made a positive impact among communities.
“We formerly took it for granted that only coffee or tea would earn farmers money. The fact that crops like pineapples earn us money is interesting,” Hategekimana noted.
“I had totally failed to feed my family due to poverty. But since I started growing pineapples, I have even managed to construct a modern house and ably support my family through the crop’s earnings,” he said.
He noted that farmers in the area earn an average of Rwf 50,000 a month.
The farmers, however, appealed to the government to provide them with tractors to embark on large-scale pineapple farming to unlock their full potential.
Meanwhile, the Governor also visited a successful banana wine cooperative in Mutenderi Sector that recently received international recognition.
She concluded her visit by holding discussions with opinion leaders on a wide range of development issues.