Agronomists in Eastern Province have confirmed that greater use of organic fertilisers played a big role in farmers’ increased harvest especially in cereals like maize.
In an interview with The New Times yesterday, Innocent Ukizuru, the Rwamagana district agriculture officer said, “Productivity of maize has been consistently high despite poor rains in some seasons...fertiliser use is the bottom line. Compare the maize grown with fertilisers to that grown without; there is a difference not only in height but also in colour. Farmers have conceptualised this difference,” he noted.
According to Nehemie Uwimana, the Mayor of Rwamagana, authorities and technicians were working round the clock, to sensitise farmers to fully embrace use fertilizers.
“Before using fertilisers, farmers harvested between 2 and 2.5 tonnes per hectare, but today, they harvest between 3.5 and 4 tonnes of maize per hectare. There is a difference of at least Rwf400,000 per hectare between one who uses fertilizers, and one who doesn’t,” he said.
The mayor, however, quickly added that there was still more to be done, in achieving the general maize productivity targets adding that some farmers were not using fertilisers.
Jean Damascene Ndahayo, a former teacher turned maize grower, however, said that the choice of an appropriate amount of fertilisers was not easy because of the temporary nature of nutrients in soils.