KAYONZA — The Rwanda Agricultural Development Authority [RADA] last Friday awarded certificates to 200 demobilised soldiers after their successful completion of a one-month training in modern farming skills.
The 200 were drawn from different districts in the country including: Ngoma, Rwamagana, Nyanza, Kayonza, Rubavu, Kirehe, Huye and Nyabihu.
At least 25 people were selected from each of the eight districts. The training was facilitated by the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission [RDRC].
“We send you out there to make changes in agriculture starting with your homes to your districts,” said Brig General John Peter Bagabo, a commissioner in RDRC.
Bagabo, described the demobilised soldiers as a reserve force that needed to develop their country through employing the skills they learn.
“Rwanda demobilised soldiers are regarded the best in Africa as regards discipline,” he said, calling on them to maintain peace and discipline in their localities.
The RADA officials said the former soldiers had received adequate training and they were capable of teaching other residents in their respective communities.
“We have covered all the key areas in agriculture and we believe the community will learn from our graduands,” said Norbert Sendege of RADA.
The veterans requested for financial support to help them set up projects on which they can implement the acquired skills. They pointed out that the skills they acquired in the training would help them eradicate poverty.
During the training, officials said, the participants were briefed on a wide range of issues including soil and water conservation, advanced techniques of farming basing on the crops suitable for the specific areas, competing for markets and saving culture.
The veterans were advised to act as model farmers and to adopt the saving culture as a matter of priority.
The veterans said they had formed up a farmer’s cooperative society which will specialise in pineapples growing. They also presented a plan on how they would increase banana production in the area.
“We shall be able to harvest and store rainwater so that it helps us during the dry season,” said Piere Gasore, a veteran.