Farmers prepare for planting seasonA 2020 as rainy period nears

Farmers in the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Food Security Project (SAIP ) and Rural Community Support Project (RCSP) intervention sites across the country started early land preparation so that they can plant in time to be able to benefit from the early rains and improve on their harvests.

Farmers’ attitudes and fieldwork activity perked up after first rains enabling them to make their way into the fields by ploughing their land ahead of the planting season.

According to Theoneste Rugerinyange, Senior Agronomist at SPIU SAIP/RCSP, the season preparation is progressing on well and farmers are committed to planting on time to get maximum benefits from the first rains.

“We advise farmers to ensure early land preparation in order to take advantage of the early rains which will lead to quality crop production,” said Rugerinyange.

He added that land preparation in SAIP sites has reached 71 percent while in RCSP is at 92 percent and farmers have been trained on improved farming methods.

The project supports farmers to increase crop yields through capacity building training, agribusiness skills, financial literacy, and agronomy. Farmers also receive agriculture inputs, like seed and fertiliser, and services including soil testing and agronomic support.

The farmers then implement the lessons from the training and use the inputs to grow their crops. Once harvested, the farmers are linked to better markets and higher prices.

The use of improved seeds and balanced inputs enable farmers to improve productivity in the crop fields.

To enhance the culture of enriching soils with quality fertilisers among farmers, the project taught farmers how to make quality composts-organic fertilisers. It is in this regard that quality compost making was introduced to farmers to increase soil fertility, hence increased productivity.

 SAIP is the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) funded project through the World Bank Group– International Development Association (IDA) while RCSP is funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Both projects are implemented under the Single Project Implementation Unit (SPIU) of the Rwanda Agricultural and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB).

SAIP targets to increase agricultural productivity, market access, and food security of the targeted beneficiaries in the project intervention areas.

RCSP aims to raise agricultural productivity of farmers in the marshlands and hillsides, increase farmers’ income and strengthen the participation of beneficiary farmers with ownership based on the diligence, self-help and cooperative, mindset approach.

 SAIP is implemented in eight districts; Rulindo, Rwamagana, Karongi, Rutsiro, Kayonza, Nyanza, Gatsibo, and Nyabihu while RCSP intervenes in seven sites; Ruterana in Muhanga District; Kajevuba and Ruzigambogo in Gasabo District; Kanyonyomba in Gatsibo District; Rwinkwavu in Kayonza District; Bwanya in Gicumbi and Gatsibo Districts and Gakenke in Gakenke District.