BURERA — The fifth edition of the cultural institution ‘Itorero Ryigihugu’ comprising of coffee farmers and traders, on Monday started a one-month civic education training at the Peace and Leadership Centre in Nkumba, Burera District.
During the training, over 600 coffee farmers who are supported by the Rwanda Coffee Development Authority-OCIR Café will benefit from induction centering around the values of Rwandan culture and the national development programmes.
The Minister of Agriculture Christophe Bazivamo, who presided over the inauguration ceremony called upon farmers to set huge production targets while seeking more crop husbandry knowledge to improve their yields.
He noted that coffee farmers bear a responsibility of turning the local coffee industry into the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner.
“We can sustain ourselves through hard work which would inevitably lead to increased production in quantity and quality of our yields thereby boosting our incomes,” he said.
This kind of training started last year, with the first edition of over 23,000 members of local authorities passing out in April, 2008. This was followed by 43,000 teachers, sector executive secretaries and students from the Diaspora.
Boniface Rucagu, the chairman of the National Task Force for the Itorero explained that Itorero is a national learning institution which cultivates patriotism among citizens while reviving the Rwandan culture.
He added that the cultural institution will work with other government organs to champion productive values and offer lessons which will create positive thinking within the citizenry.
At the function, the Director General OCIR-Café, Alex Kanyankore said that integrating stake holders in coffee industry under itorero aims at boosting coffee productivity in the rural areas by pursuing a change of the mindset among the growers.
He noted that OCIR-Café targets to double coffee production from 22,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes within the next three years, adding that there is need for reorganising how growers undertake their production processes in order to achieve this dream.
He further revealed that the growers will also be empowered to manage affairs of coffee cooperatives.
Also present at the ceremony were the area governor Aime Bosenibamwe, and the Executive Secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, Fatuma Ndangiza.