Ruterana site is one of the RCSP intervention sites countrywide. The site is located in Muhanga District, Southern Province at about 3hours drive from Kigali City. The Project site covers the sectors of Rongi (Gasagara and Karambo cells) and Kiyumba (Rukeri and Ruhina cells).
Capacity building of farmers
Ruterana site has two cooperatives, one at the hillside (KOTU Busindi) and the other in the Marshland (COOPERIMU) and One Water Users Association (WUA Ejoheza Ruterana):
On the hillside, there are 1,116 direct beneficiaries (617 males and 445 females) grouped into 47 Self Help Groups (SHGs), spread across 3 zones, while in the marshland, there 1217 direct beneficiaries (585 males and 632 females) grouped into 37 SHGs, and in 2 zones (Nyamugali and Ruterana).WUA Ejoheza Ruterana is operating in Ruterana Marshland and responsible for water management techniques including, rehabilitation of irrigation network canals, and supervision of water distribution, collection of water fees in order to conserve water and achieve higher water efficiency productivity among beneficiaries (farmers).
Farmers have been trained on different modules aiming at creating strong farmer’s organizations and improving skills in a number of aspects including Good agricultural practices, Pest and diseases control, Post-harvest handling, marketing practices, Social Mobilization, Business Plan, Infrastructure management and maintenance and many other trainings and study tours.
Because of these trainings, farmers are able to organize themselves into strong producer organizations. To date, production of beans increased from 0.6tons/ha to 2tons/ha and climbing beans to 3.6 tons/ha, maize increased from 0.8 tons/ha to 3.5 tons/ha while Irish potatoes which were not grown in the site before RCSP interventions reached 24 tons/ha on average. To increase formal financial services, farmers in the site have been linked to formal financial institutions (SACCO KIYUMBA, SACCO RONGI and CLECAM EJOHEZA NDIZA) where more than 92% of individual farmers have savings accounts, while 93% of Self Help Groups 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 504ha including 164ha of bench terraces and 340ha of ditches, and more than 256,000 trees have been planted on terraces and around the canal. A total of 52,678 trees have been planted in marginal lands and 27,555 fruit trees have been planted by Ruterana farmers.
Key Project achievements in the site
· Construction and protection of ditches and terraces of 505ha at the hillside of Ruterana site
· Supplying lime (825 tons) and compost (1650 tons) on 165ha of constructed terraces.
· Production of Forestry, Agroforestry and fruits trees and giving them to the beneficiaries and others planted in terraces and around the canal in the Marshland.
· Construction of irrigation canals (more than 6.7km) and other infrastructures in the Marshland (35 ha) for facilitating irrigation.
· Construction of Post-Harvest infrastructures in the Marshland (2 drying grounds with small storages.
· Installation of solar power to the offices of KOTUBU and COOPERIMU.
· Construction of a feeder road (2.4km) around the Marshland for facilitating the transport of the produce.
· Giving IT and office Equipment to KOTUBU, COOPERIMU, WUA EjohezaRuterana
· Strengthening the Hillside Cooperative (KOTUBU) and Marshland Cooperative (COOPERIMU) and their SHGs.
· Formation of WUA EjohezaRuterana, this WUA is legally known and has got the Final Legal Certificate from RGB, 95% of its members pay the water fees since Season A 2018.
· COOPERIMU has got the Seed Production Certificate from RAB.
· Through Demo plots installation, FFS, RCSP Prizes give to the best farmers every Season and Microcredits (Agricultural inputs given to farmers as microcredit at every season and after harvesting they make a repayment through Cooperative), the farmers have adopted good agricultural practices and improved their awareness on the use of infrastructures made by the project.
· The project Supplied Cassava cuttings (467,146 Cuttings) for non-cultivated terraces in order to cultivate all terraces.
· 3 beneficiaries have been taken to Republic of Korea in different trainings about Community Organization and Development and Improved Agriculture practices for increasing the Productivity and the whole value chain.
· For the First time the farmers of the Marshland aggregated the rice produce and sold it to the Rice Mill (KINAZI RICE MILL Ltd) after signing a contract and this is going well up to now.
Impacts recorded in Ruterana site following the Project intervention
· The implementation of comprehensive land husbandry technologies implemented at Ruterana site registered a number of successes, which include the following:
· 30% 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 at the hillside, constructed irrigation infrastructures in Marshland enhanced crop productivity from 0.7 tons/ha, to 1.9 tons/ha for bush beans, 1.1 to 3.5 tons/ha for Maize and 3.2 to 6.1 tons/ha for rice
· Increased productivity and job creation to local beneficiaries through land husbandry works helped more than 33 farmers to build new houses, 306 rehabilitated their houses, 62 have acquired cows and 688 bought small ruminants.
· 53 farmers opened personal small scale businesses
· The yield increase enhanced food security, livelihood change whereby farmers acquired basic needs such as health insurance and now are able to afford to send their children to school.