GICUMBI – The Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Charles Murigande has cautioned Gicumbi district local leaders against indiscriminate cutting of banana plantations.
The warning follows reports that banana farmers were reluctant to cut down their plantations in line with the district’s policy to promote the growing of other more productive crops.
“Where banana growth is favoured by the area’s climate, farmers should be advised to apply modern farming methods to increase production but not being mechanical by uprooting all banana stems in the entire district,” said Murigande, pointing out that modern farming is the only way to guarantee food security.
The Minister was on Monday addressing district authorities, Sector Executive Secretaries, agronomists, civic and religious leaders at a meeting organised to assess the progress of agricultural reforms, held at the district conference hall.
Murigande urged farmers to put more emphasis on the growing of Irish potatoes, wheat, fruits and creeping beans which he said are favoured by the district’s climate.
“Government’s Agricultural reform programme is meant to benefit local residents through increasing their income and guaranteeing food security,” he added.
Sector leaders present at the meeting, observed that areas around Lake Muhazi and Sectors located in warm areas such as Mutete, Miyove and Muko are suitable for banana farming, as the stems there produce bananas weighing around 60kg per bunch.
They resolved to coordinate with Sector agronomists to advise banana farmers in such areas to grow high yield bananas through use of modern practises.
Mayor Bonane Nyangezi advised local leaders to speed up the agricultural reform campaign before the end of this rainy season.
“Starting this Wednesday (Today) all Civic leaders, local authorities and Sector Executive Secretaries should start replacing non productive banana plants with creeping beans available at every Sector,” said Nyangezi.