As Rwanda prepares for 2018 season A, there is much hope for increased agricultural produce. In this season, around 258,139ha of maize were planted at least 775,114 metric tons of production is expected. For beans that were planted on an area of 354,934 ha, there is an expection of 585,439 metric tons.
However, farmers around the country are encouraged to conserve their produce and avoid post-harvest losses by stocking the produce to protect its quality because bad quality affects the market as well.
Farmers are also encouraged to make use of the upcoming season to plant on time, the ministry of agriculture and animal husbandry warns.
The Minister of agriculture and animal husbandry, Geraldine Mukeshimana, told journalists on Wednsday that climate change brought unusual changes, but farmers should work hard in the upcoming season A of 2018.
“The season we are going to start is important because it is where the production that sustains us for a very long periods of time comes from.,” she said adding that, “But when seasons occur at the same time, we have some practices that we encourage farmers to apply so that they are not late.”
Farmers are equally discouraged from selling produce to petty traders at giveaway prices; while being sensitised to work under cooperatives and groups where they can aggregate their produce and sell it at good prices.
As to whether harvest stocking may constitute a challenge for farmers, Francis Kaboneka, Minister of Local Governance, said that post-harvest problems are under control because farmers will be either assisted by both the ministry of agriculture and the ministry of local government to be able to stock their produce.
“We are trying to work with people and mobilise them to see that those who have harvested can conserve their produce and sell part of it to others who may have production problems. But we also have MINAGRI with its stock that will keep on supporting farmers who have conservation problems. So we have no problem because it is under control,” Kaboneka said.
To ensure proper harvest handling, the ministry of agriculture supports farmers and cooperatives on improved post-harvest operations to reduce post-harvest losses and ensure quality.
Agronomists in districts and sectors are conducting trainings and coachings on post-harvest operations; encouraging farmers to use the existing facilities (drying grounds, dryers, warehouse); encouraging farmers to use temporary sheds made using tarpaulins where permanent structures are not available or insufficient.
Overall estimates country productions for season 2018A
|Crop||Planted area (ha)||Yield (T/ha)||Expected productions (MT)|