New dyke to water Kirehe farms

Kirehe district has launched a crop irrigation drive that will be supported by Mahama water dyke with capacity to handle one million metro cubes of water.

Kirehe district has launched a crop irrigation drive that will be supported by Mahama water dyke with capacity to handle one million metro cubes of water.

This was disclosed by Mayor Protais Murayire while addressing stakeholders on the district’s agricultural plans 2013-2014.

Murayire said the new development was long overdue, adding that it as an important development for the country as well.

He said several sectors in the district, just like in other districts in the country, were not as productive as they should have been due to over-dependence on rain.

Murayire lamented that in absence of irrigation, agriculture remained typically characterised by farming of a few sustenance crops of low water requirements grown only in rainy seasons.

“Over-dependence on such crops has been our undoing. Such crops have poor yields and low values. As a result, farmers typically earn too little to break out of poverty,” he said.

Murayire noted that access to a substantial, reliable supply of water can revolutionise agricultural practices in traditional dry sectors.

Farmers income to improve

“As a result of irrigation, farmers will diversify their crops and benefit from increased yields and superior quality of produce. Mahama dyke has capacity to handle one million metric cube of water and it will be utilised maximally,” he said.

Nathalie Niyonagira, the district’s agriculture officer, said the dyke would significantly improve farmers’ income by providing water for irrigation all year round.

She emphasised that time was ripe for Rwanda to move from rain fed agriculture to irrigated agriculture.

“We are entering a new era of agriculture revolution. Irrigation systems will ensure optimal water use. It is a breakthrough that can improve farmers’ income substantially, within a very short period. Management of land and water will improve livelihoods of the rural communities,” Niyonagira said.

Nipomscene Maniraguha, a resident of Mahama, said it was a timely move for farmers.

“The wise concept of irrigation will be embraced by even the laziest farmer in our community. Our sector is one of those mostly affected by drought. So, we wait eagerly to irrigate our crops and increase productivity,” he said.

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