Like many farmers in the intervention areas of the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Food Security Project (SAIP), Fabiola Ingabirezimana, looks to better future following a dramatic increase in Irish potato yield, thanks to the Project support.
The 31-year-old is a resident of Muturikwa Village, Rugamba Cell, Rambura Sector, NyabihuDsitrict. She is married with two children.
Irish potatoes are widely grown in Nyabihu, but they could earn a farmer big if the right farming methods and good prices are in place. Ingabirezimana, is among dozens of farmers that have recorded increased yield and improved incomes through commercial Irish potato farming after adopting SAIP improved agricultural practices. SAIP extension services enabled farmers with improved varieties of seed, fertilisers and other inputs to achieve higher yields.
"I started growing ‘Kuruseke’ Irish potato seed variety way back in 2016, but was not making profits due to poor quality as I could intercrop it with maize and beans and as well as lack of improved seeds and fertilizers. However, in seasonB 2020, SAIP provided us with ‘Igisubizo’ Irish potato seed variety,” said Ingabirezimana. She explained that after implementing SAIP improved agricultural practices, she cultivated ‘Igisubizo’ on 1ha and harvested 20 tonnes which put a very a big smile on her face after so many years of harvesting 10 tonnes of ‘Kuruseke’ on the same plot.
“You can see now I have doubled my yield, due to SAIP’s improved farming methods,” added Ingabirezimana.
She sold 19 tonnes of the Irish yield through her cooperative at Rwf 300 per kilo and generated Rwf5, 700,000. The rest of the yield was used for home consumption and as well sold as seeds to cooperatives.
Ingabirezimana encourages other farmers to adopt improved agricultural practices for them to also start harvesting high quality and profitable yields. According to her, SAIP has supported them to access markets for their produce which has inspired them to focus more on commercial agriculture.