Gakenke site is located in five sectors of Gakenke, Muzo, Janja, Kivuruga and Busengo in Gakenke District, Northern Province. It lies about 1 hour and 30 minutes drive to the site from Kigali city. The total site area that was developed with comprehensive land husbandry technologies is 101ha. A total of 142 farmers’ households (47 females and 95 males) benefited from the project intervention. Farmers have been organized in 147 groups spread across 2 zones grouped under two cooperatives KOTWIMUJA and TWIYUBAKE KIVURUGA.
Capacity building of farmersGakenke
For better organization, farmers were organized themselves into Self Help Groups and cooperatives. These ones are therefore formed on basis of their land proximity. The acquired skills through trainings will finally help farmers to come together and form cooperatives. Workshop and study tour were done and other are still in preparation with project beneficiaries for sharing experiences with other farmers. Therefore we planned trainings and other study tours in different domains including Social mobilization and group formation, business plan, Savings and Credit; Accounting, loan tracking & Book-Keeping; Financial management and Cooperative Organization and management, pest and disease management, post harvest handling. Furthermore, farmers were trained in some domains such as: Social mobilization, cooperative management, Compost making, kitchen garden construction and study tour in KOREA. Here two cooperative have been formed (KOTWIMUJA and TWIYUBAKE KIVURUGA).
Land husbandry infrastructures
Land husbandry practices implemented in Gakenke site include terracing, tree nurseries preparation, embankment protection and liming. Through community participation approach under supervision of Reserve Force, the project offered jobs to 1,350 people (manpower) to work in land husbandry technologies. In addition, the project introduced soil fertility management package which includes liming, composting, high value forage species (grasses, fruits and shrubs) and the total number of 19,500 fruit trees given to the project beneficiaries and 151,500 trees were planted on terrace embankments.
Impacts recorded in Gakenke site following RCSP intervention
· Increase Maize and Beans production
Before Gakenke hillside land treatment, farmers practiced intercropping but nowadays maize and climbing beans are the main crops grown on consolidated treated land. Farmers have acquired skills on land husbandry techniques. As a result, the productivity per hectare for beans has increased from 1.5tons /ha to 3 tons/ha and from 2.2 tons/ha to 6 tons /ha for maize.
· Erosion control
Gakenke project site hillside has been sustainably protected against soil erosion at 99% in order to prevent siltation to the adjacent marshland. With improved bench terraces constructed at Gakenke hillside, farmers have managed to control soil erosion and soil loss hence enhancing soil fertility.
Following land treatment and improved farming practices, Gakenke site has great potential to increase farmers’ income. Potential production after additional works is to grow maize and beans on a large scale for two seasons each year. Before project support, farmers were not able to cultivate on consolidated land and using improved agriculture inputs but after the project intervention farmers have used improved farm inputs which lead to increased produce. From increased crop yield, farmers have earned a significant amount from the produce. They have made savings from the income got from selling agricultural produce totaling Rwf1, 726,400.
Micro credit from Project Coordination Unit through TWIYUBAKE KIVURUGA is has reached Rwf1,259,000 to be used by the cooperative in different activities and this money will be paid back by the cooperative at a greed time.