Karongi farmers urged to make optimum use of agriculture infrastructure for better, increased yields

Farmers in the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Food Security Project (SAIP) intervention site in Karongi District, Western Province have been urged to make sustainable use of the agricultural infrastructure that were constructed by the Project in the area in order to increase agricultural production.

Théophile Niragire, Vice Mayor of Karongi District told farmers to protect, take good care, and make optimum use of agriculture infrastructure such as terraces, post-harvest storages and irrigation systems that were constructed by the Project to enable farmers to increase productivity.

He was speaking at a stakeholders meeting that was organized by SAIP to discuss ways to strengthen partnership among Karongi District authorities, Project beneficiaries (farmers) and the SAIP authority for increased sustainable productivity of farmers.

“A lot of money was spent on building these infrastructures for the benefit of farmers and it is paramount farmers actively engage in proper utilization of these facilities for better and increased yield,” Niragire said.

He called on farmers to properly utilize benefits accruing from the government support through project’s interventions for increased crop production and improved household income.

“We thank SAIP for supporting Karongi farmers to increase production, which has led to increased household consumption and surpluses for the market,” he said.

Speaking at the meeting, Innocent Bisangwa, Coordinator SPIU World Bank and KOICA Funded projects (SAIP and Rural Community Support Project) said that SAIP is committed to accelerating the modernization of agriculture through increased agricultural productivity, market access, and food security of the targeted beneficiaries.

“The Project constructed agricultural facilities such as storages, irrigation systems and terraces and I encourage farmers to make sustainable use of these facilities to create an environment for agricultural productivity and profitability,” Bisangwa said.

Bisangwa said that SAIP will strengthen the development of sustainable market linkages and value addition, through increased performance and commercialization of selected value chains in its areas of intervention across the country.

“We thank the project for treating our land and availing us with water for irrigation. As a farmer, I am happy and proud to be part of this type of farming and to contribute to spreading improved agricultural practices in Karongi,” said Felician Sebahire, one of the farmers.

He added that as a farmer he is committed to make optimum of use of agriculture infrastructure in the area and inspire other farmers to adopt modern methods of farming.

Karongi is one of the SAIP intervention sites across Rwanda. The site lies between Rutsiro and Karongi Districts, in Western Province.

It covers a total area of 1086 ha that was developed using comprehensive husbandry technologies that included several land management techniques (soil bunds, terraces, cut-off drains, and waterways among others).

Out of the total area treated with comprehensive land husbandry technologies, 272 ha are subjected to rain-fed agriculture, 145 ha gross area in the command area was developed for hillside irrigation.

In the site, there are 2,074 Farmers’ households (1,211 males and 863 females). Farmers have been organized into 110 Self Help Groups (SHGs) spread across 7 zones. SHGs have since formed 2 strong cooperatives and 1 Water Users Association (WUA).

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.