Farmers in the Rural Community Support Project (RCSP) intervention sites of Kanyonyomba in Gatsibo District and Bwanya that lies in between in the districts of Gatsibo and Gicumbi have received prizes for promoting and implementing improved agricultural practices for the Season 2019A.
The farmers’ awards seek to strengthen beneficiary farmer’s ownership, contribute agricultural productivity increment and farmer’s income, enhance the cooperatives and SHGs formation and self sustenance and motivate them to utilize the project infrastructures in the site.
The colourful event held at Ntende in Gatsibo District, Eastern Province was graced by the presence of Mr. Theogene Manzi, Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Development at Gatsibo District, Mr. Lee Byung Hwa, KOICA Country Director and Mr. Mr. Jean Marie Vianney Kagenza, Acting SPIU SAIP/RCSP Coordinator, (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.
“We thank RCSP for changing our lives. Before the project intervention we were very poor because we were not producing enough food due to mixing up all crops on small pieces of land. After RCSP intervention our produce has significantly increased and we are able to satisfy our families and take surplus to local markets,” said Mr. Felecian Ntirivamunda one of RCSP beneficiaries in Kanyonyomba.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Manzi urged farmers to embrace and adopt government interventions in order to transform agriculture sector and creating wealth and income-earning opportunities and improved livelihoods.
“Investment in agriculture and especially for smallholders is very important towards eradicating hunger and poverty in the country. I thank KOICA for supporting the government of Rwanda to increase food production and improve rural lives,” said Manzi.
He advised farmers to pay much attention to post harvest handling process in order to avoid yield contamination most especially Aflatoxin disease.
“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 agriculture production and income,” Mr. Kagenza told farmers at the awards event.
However, Mr. Lee Byung Hwa, thanked farmers for adopting best practices as it would help in food security and contribute to the national economy.
“The KOICA is committed to continue supporting the government of Rwanda to achieve economic development and prosperity of its citizens,” he said.
At the event farmers received prizes that included among others, wheelbarrows, knapsack sprayers, wellington boots, agro-chemicals, hoes, bicycles and certificates.
RCSP is a 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.