Rwamagana district local leaders, Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Food Security Project (SAIP) authorities and farmers in the project site in Rwamagana have renewed commitment to strengthen partnership to achieve accelerated agricultural production.
They made the commitment on Thursday during stakeholders meeting that brought together SAIP staff, local leaders and farmers’ representatives in the SAIP intervention site in Rwamagana District, Eastern Province.
The meeting was organized by SAIP to discuss ways to strengthen partnership among Rwamagana District authorities, Project beneficiaries (farmers) and the SAIP authorities for increased sustainable productivity of farmers.
“The project has created an enabling environment for improved farming practices by constructing terraces, irrigation system and post harvest infrastructures in your land. Now, it’s time for you to make sustainable use of these facilities to achieve better and increased yield,” said Alphonse Karango, Executive Secretary, Nzige Sector, Rwamagana District at the meeting.
He said the sector and the overall district leadership and technical staff was committed to partner with farmers and SAIP to achieve self sufficiency in agricultural production in the district.
However, John Byaruhanga, Executive Secretary, Rubona Sector said that, SAIP is playing a key role in agriculture transformation in the district noting that some beneficiaries of the project in the district have been able to build decent houses and create non-agricultural income-generating activities as a result of increased agricultural produce.
“We are ready to strengthen our support to SAIP to ensure that farmers improve yields and income inclusive growth and shared prosperity,” said Byaruhanga.
The meeting emphasised that strong partnership between farmers, district authorities and the Project is key to achieve SAIP objective and agriculture development in the district.
According to Sarah Nyiramutangwa, Acting Manager SAIP, the project is committed to improving lives of farmers in its intervention sites through improved agricultural practices.
“The project supported farmers by constructing agricultural infrastructures such as irrigation systems, terraces and post harvest structures and I highly encourage farmers to productively use them for better and increased yield,” she said.
Nyiramutangwa added that SAIP will strengthen partnership with farmers and Rwamagana district authorities to ensure sustainable agricultural productivity in the area.
At the meeting stakeholders renewed their pledge to deepen the strategic partnerships with SAIP to implement sustainable solutions and address critical agricultural challenges in the district.
One of the farmers, Ephrem Uwitoze said that efforts will be strengthened to ensure that improved agricultural yield and incomes among farmers in the district.
Through SAIP support, farmers in Rwamagana District have taken initiatives such as the use of land management techniques, the production of compost and improved farming methods and as well as hillside irrigation scheme which have greatly increased crop produce hence improved livelihoods.
In Rwamagana SAIP site, out of the total area treated with comprehensive land husbandry technologies, 661Ha are subjected to rain fed agriculture, 267Ha gross area in the command area was developed for hillside irrigation.
In the site, there are 5,606 Farmers’ households (2,974 males & 2,632 females). Farmers have been organized into 249 Self Help Groups (SHGs) spread across 19 zones. SHGs have since formed 2 strong cooperatives and 1 Water Users Association (WUA).
The project has equipped farmers with 3 post harvest storage facilities, 3 dryers and 2 horticultural produce collection centres with charcoal coolers. Post harvest facilities have helped farmers to improve food production and reduce 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.