This statement is issued in response to the article entitled “Musanze pyrethrum farmers decry ‘mistreatment’ by processing firms” published in The New Times edition of August 6, 2013.
On the issue of “uprooting crops”, Horizon Sopyrwa does not employ any “agents” to uproot farmers’ crops. The 90 agronomists employed and paid by Horizon Sopyrwa, are, in majority, best performing and experienced pyrethrum farmers. All of them have a mandate to provide extension services, and support to farmers in improving the productivity and the increase of farmers’ income.
The agronomists of Horizon Sopyrwa operate in the field in collaboration with different stakeholders, including farmers cooperatives, community leaders at cell and sector levels, as well as district and sector agronomists.
There are “NO” known cases of mistreatment of farmers and uprooting of their crops. Such practices would be against the established values of the company, the code of conduct for company employees and would not be tolerated.
Regarding rotation of crops, pyrethrum crop does not mature over a year. Flowers planted via splits mature after six months, and flowers planted with new seeds mature after a period of two to three months. On public land, farmers always rotate pyrethrum with potatoes every season. Potatoes grown on such land benefit from nutrients left by the prior rotation of pyrethrum, which has resulted in better yields in quality and quantities of potatoes to the benefit of farmers.
All stakeholders in the pyrethrum industry are putting in place significant effort to improve productivity and consequently incomes of farmers. These efforts continue to yield positive and motivating results for farmers, attracting even a bigger number to become pyrethrum farmers. An increase of 67 per cent in pyrethrum production has been achieved between 2009 and 2012.
Social responsibility remains a core value at Horizon Sopyrwa, and efforts are continuously deployed to ensure that staff remain in the confines of those values and conduct business in the most ethical fashion.
General Manager, Horizon Sopyrwa Ltd
Horizon Sopyrwa doesn’t uproot farmers’ crops