Farmers in the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Food Security Project (SAIP) intervention site in Gatsibo District, Eastern Province have been urged to sustainably utilize and make agriculture treated land productive to improve crop quality and increase production.
Theogene Manzi, Vice Mayor in charge of Finance and Economic Development of Gatsibo District told farmers (Project beneficiaries) to fully utilize the agriculture infrastructure that was constructed by the Project in the area to increase production and promote economic prosperity.
“You are lucky you have this support from the government and the development partners like the World Bank, so I encourage you to take advantage of these agricultural infrastructures that have been constructed in your area to boost productivity and improve your lives for better,” Manzi told farmers.
He was speaking at a stakeholders meeting that was organized by SAIP to discuss ways to strengthen partnership among Karongi District authorities, Project beneficiaries (farmers) and the SAIP authority for increased productivity of farmers.
Manzi urged farmers to actively participate in agricultural development thereby increase productivity making use of agricultural infrastructure in the area.
He urged them farmers to take care of the infrastructures that were constructed in the project site i.e irrigation infrastructures, post harvest storage facilities and terraces in order to massively increase agricultural produce.
“We thank SAIP for supporting Gatsibo farmers to increase production, which has led to increased household consumption and surpluses for the market,” he said.
Speaking at the meeting, Sarah Nyiramutangwa, Acting manager SAIP at SPIU World Bank and KOICA Funded projects called on farmers strengthen partnership with local leaders and the Project to make agriculture a success in the Project site.
“The Project’s support to farmers recognizes that farmers are the backbone of the resilient, sustainable food and farming system that we all want for increased crop production and improved rural incomes and livelihoods,” said Nyiramutangwa.
She reaffirmed SAIP’s commitment to facilitate farmers’ access viable markets encouraging them to produce more and more for home consumption and for export markets.
“We thank the project for treating our land and availing us with water for irrigation. We are grateful for the support. We are going to double our efforts to ensure proper utilization of agriculture infrastructure constructed by the project in our area for better and increased yield,” said Therese Uwamariya, one of the farmers in the SAIP site in Gatsibo District.
During the meeting, challenges affecting agricultural production in SAIP site in Gatsibo were highlighted and as well as numerous solutions to the challenges were discussed and agreed upon.
In Gatsibo SAIP site, out of the total area treated with comprehensive land husbandry technologies, 405.90Ha are subjected to rain fed agriculture, 45Ha gross area in the command area was developed for hillside irrigation.
In the site, there are 1,084 Farmers’ households (1,187 males & 617 females). Farmers have been organized into 87 Self Help Groups (SHGs) spread across 7 zones. SHGs have since formed 1 strong and dynamic cooperative, and 1 Water Users Association (WUA).
The project equipped farmers with an irrigation system, 3 post harvest storage facilities, 4 dryers and 1 banana produce collection centre. All these post harvest facilities have significantly contributed towards increased yield and the reduction of post-harvest losses.
SAIP’s main development objective is to increase agricultural productivity, market access, and food security of the targeted beneficiaries in the project intervention areas across the country.