Indian firm to cultivate 6,000ha of land

Agricultural productivity could multiply next season as government moves to forge partnership with ETC, an Indian agro-based company, to till at least 6,000 hectares of land in different parts of the country.

Agricultural productivity could multiply next season as government moves to forge partnership with ETC, an Indian agro-based company, to till at least 6,000 hectares of land in different parts of the country.

According to Chari Viswarupa, the country Manager ETC Mahindra Agro Tractors and Implements Ltd, the land is located in the districts of Nyagatare, Musanze, Karongi, Nyamagabe and Kicukiro, and development starts next season.

“We  have been entrusted with the responsibility to till over 6,000 hectares of virgin land  into  a more productive agricultural land that will support maize,  beans, rice, vegetables and sugarcane growing next season,” he said.

The firm will work in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Rwanda Agriculture Board, and farmers.

Linking producers


Viswarupa noted that the firm will also link producers to the nearest markets in addition to extending free mechanised farming and irrigation services to local farmers who can’t afford these services.

Jean de Dieu  Dushimimana, the Rwanda Agriculture Board crop intensification programme extension and mobilisation officer, said the move is in line with the institutions initiative to encourage the private sector to invest in agriculture.

“We believe that by involving the private sector in agriculture it will not only increase on productivity but also create a strong private sector that will actively participate in economic development of the country.”

He observed that there is need to transform agriculture from traditional farming methods to modern commercial farming that will not only ensure food security but also make a contribution to the export sector.

Production of crops has been increasing since 2010 with maize production increasing from 432,476 tonnes in 2010 to 633,624 tonnes in 2011. Production of wheat increased from 67,868 tonnes in 2008 to 72,478 tonnes in 2009, 76,573 tonnes in 2010 and 130,938 in 2011.

Dushimimana said production of beans went up from 308,563 tonnes in 2008 to 327,729 tonnes in 2009, 336,927 tonnes in 2010 and 536,009 tonnes in 2011.

Cassava output also shot up from 1681,823 tonnes in 2008 to 2,662,010 tonnes in 2011, while that of Irish potatoes rose from 1,161,943 tonnes in 2008 to 2,662,010 tonnes in 2011.

ETC Mahindra Agro Tractors, is involved in farming activities in 47 countries worldwide.

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