Bwanya site was one of the Rural Community Support Project (RCSP) intervention sites countrywide. The site is located in Gatsibo District, Eastern Province and Gicumbi District in the Northern Province at about 3 hour drive from Kigali city. The Project site covers four sectors of Muhura, Gasange, Giti and Muko. The site has 2952 farmers’ households (1,659 males and 1,293 females), organized into 91 Self Help Groups (SHGs) spread across 9 zones.
Capacity building of farmers
Farmers have been trained on different modules aiming at creating strong farmers’ organizations and improving skills in a number of aspects including agricultural and marketing practices. After a period of 3 years, Self Help Groups have formed Two cooperatives; KOBAKA and KOAIGIMU with 837 (539 males and 298 females) and 639 (401 males and 238 females) members respectively.
Members of these cooperatives have had extensive trainings on cooperative management, use of improved farming methods, marketing and financial literacy. Because of these trainings, farmers are able to organize themselves into strong producer organizations. To-date, production of soybeans increased from 0.6 tons/ha to 2tons/ha, beans from 0.7 tons/ha to 1.8, irish potatoes from 6tons/ha to 17, maize increased from 3 tons/ha to 5 tons/ha and Wheat from 1ton/ha to 3 tons/ha.
The project also supported farmers with one storage
To increase formal financial services, farmers in the site have been linked to 4 formal financial institutions (SACCOs) where more than 85.5% of individual farmers have savings accounts, while 100% of SHGs opened accounts through which they get credit to finance their agricultural value chain.
Soil erosion control with land husbandry technologies
The total area treated is 650ha including 300 Ha of open ditches and 350Ha of bench terraces. A total of 318,350 trees including fruit trees were planted to strengthen terraces.
Production and marketing of Staple crops
Farmers in the site, grow maize, wheat, irish potatoes, beans and Soybeans on rotational basis season by season on the treated Hillside with terraces of 350 Ha. For the season A&B 2019, Maize and Soybeans off takers were African Improved Food (AIF) Ltd.
SB- 2018 and SA-2019 RCSP Prize award ceremony
The farmers’ competition in season B-2018 and A-2019. After selection of qualified winners, 242 farmers were given awards to the best performers.
Impacts recorded in Bwanya site following RCSP intervention
The implementation of comprehensive land husbandry technologies implemented in Bwanya site registered a number of successes, which include the following;
· 75% of the land treated that was marginal has now been converted into productive land;
· Use of compost, lime, moisture retention measures and other soil erosion control measures enhanced crop productivity (Soybeans increased from 0.6 tons/ha to 2 tons/ha, Bush Beans from 0.7 tons/ha to 1.8, Irish Potatoes from 6tons/ha to 17, maize increased from 3 tons/ha to 5 tons/ha and Wheat from 1 ton/ha to 3 tons/ha.
· Increased productivity, compost making and job creation to local beneficiaries through land husbandry works helped more than 33 farmers to build new houses, 12 acquired cows and 636 bought small ruminants.
· 1 farmer opened a small scale business (Agro dealership) and another bought a car from compost making which has now become a lucrative venture.