Farmers embark on seasonA 2021 planting amid intermittent rains

Farmers in the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Food Security Project (SAIP) and the recently completed project Rural Community Support Project (RCSP) intervention sites across the country have started early seasonA 2021 planting, despite irregular rains.

Early this month, Rwanda Meteorology Agency predicted a reduction in rainfall from September to December compared to previous seasons.

The Project had mobilized farmers to carry out early land preparation so that they are able to plant in time to be able to benefit from the early rains and improve on their harvests.

According to Vladmir Ayimpaye, Extension Specialist at SPIU SAIP/RCSP, the season preparation is progressing on well and farmers are busy planting in order to get maximum benefits from the first rains.

“We are mobilizing farmers to ensure that they plant early enough and take advantage of the early rains which would lead to better yield,” he said.

He added that land preparation in SAIP sites has reached 77.6 percent and planting at 17.3 percent while in RCSP sites land preparation is at 92 percent and planting at 49 percent.

Ayimpaye said that farmers have been trained on improved farming methods and improved farm inputs such as fertilisers and seeds have been availed to them.

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 on 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 was 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 that phased out in June this year, focused on raising 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 intervened 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.