Farmers in the Rural Community Support Project (RCSP) intervention site of Ruzigambogo, Kajevuba and Gakenke in the districts of Gasabo and Gakenke respectively have received prizes for promoting and implementing improved agricultural practices for the Season 2019B.
The farmers’ awards aims to boost beneficiary farmer’s ownership, contribute agricultural productivity increment and farmer’s income, strengthen the cooperatives and SHGs formation and self sustenance and motivate them to utilize the project infrastructures in the site.
The colourful event held at Ruzigambogo Marshland, Gokomero sector in Gasabo district was graced by the presence of Mr. Jean Claude Musabyimana, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Mr. Stephen Rwamulangwa, Mayor Gasabo District, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) representatives, Gasabo district officials, RCSP team and farmers among others.
The criteria to reward farmers dwelt on outstanding performance in farmers’ organization, extension, post-harvest handling, and marketing.
Prizes were given in key categories: best cooperative, best SHGs in terms increased productivity and capacity building, best individual farmers in areas of compost making and increased crop productivity and the best woman and youth farmer.
“Before we started working with the project, we were disorganized as we were not in cooperatives and Self Help Groups (SHG), as a result the marshland and the surrounding hillside were not well treated and the yield was too low. We were just producing for home consumption, “said Valens Bukamu, one of Ruzigambogo farmers.
“When the project started few years ago, farmers’ mindset started improving. We were mobilised SHGs and later on formed cooperatives. Now, with the development of the marshland, we are producing enough produce for our families and surplus for local markets,” added Bukamu, who also is the president of Urumuri Banyarwanda cooperative in Ruzigambogo.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Rwamulangwa thanked RCSP for supporting farmers in Gasabo district to adopt improved agricultural practices.
“I am happy for what you’re doing to improve your lives and contribute to the country’s economy. I expect you to continue this good performance and inspire other farmers to increase their agriculture production and income,” he told farmers.
Speaking at same event, Mr. Musabyimana, thanked farmers for adopting and implementing government improved agricultural programmes and interventions.
He encouraged them to do more to modernise farming and adopt best practices as it would help in food security and contribute to the national economy.
However at the ceremony, Mr. Lee Byung Hwa, KOICA Country Director, Rwanda thanked RCSP beneficiaries (farmers) for their commitment to increase agriculture production and improve their incomes.
“We are pleased to know that the Korean government’s support is changing your lives for the better. We are committed to continue supporting the government of Rwanda to achieve social and economic development,” he told farmers.
RCSP is Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) funded project implemented under the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB)-Single Project Implementation Unit (SPIU).
RCSP targets rural farmer groups and individuals most especially smallholders in intervention areas producing rice, maize, beans, horticulture (fruits and vegetables) and other crops.