The Rwanda Defence Force has extended support to cooperative farmers cultivating at Nyirabirande marshland, Nemba sector in Burera district.
Burera district Mayor Florence Uwambajemariya told Taarifa that the farmers pooled money and purchased 6 irrigation machines and the district bought extra 8 machines.
The gesture by the RDF is part of the ongoing campaign that aims to ensure food security across the country.
Burera district Mayor Florence Uwambajemariya told Taarifa that this partnership between RDF and the farmers in Nemba sector will increase crop yields including quality of crops.
She said the new irrigation equipment will support farmers of three neighbouring sectors including; Nemba,Cyeru and Rwerere sectors all cultivating on 420hectares at Nyirabirandi marshland.
According to Mudacagura Faustin the sector Agronomist, crop Season C is normally difficult to navigate because it is mostly dry.
Crops require constant watering in the expansive Nyirabirande marshland.
Taarifa visited the site on Tuesday and interacted with the farmers that collectively work in a cooperative.
“Previously they were using crude methods to carryout irrigation of crops but now they have modern irrigation machines that pump water quickly enabling irrigation,” Mudacagura said.
Currently the farmers have grown Irish potatoes which they forecast will offer better yields with the irrigation equipment.
Mudacugura says with the new irrigation equipment, crop yields are expected to increase from 30tons per hectare to 32tons/hectare.
Nsengiyumva silas from Nemba sector is excited with the new irrigation equipment which he says it’s the first time to see the equipment.
Since April, the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) in collaboration with staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) started are supporting farmers in different farming activities across the country as part of this year’s RDF Citizen Outreach Programme.
The Army’s intervention in farming activities in all districts is aimed at liberating Rwandans from poverty and food insecurity which also has an impact on the economy of the country.
So far since RDF COP 2018 was launched on 20 April, 204.5 ha of sweet potatoes, 407.6 ha of Irish potatoes and 459.9 ha of vegetables were cultivated countrywide.
In shelter provision to the vulnerable, 1,493 houses are currently under construction in different parts of the country and 588 toilets have been constructed for poor families.
Regarding provision of health services 39,907 patients were treated countrywide, 17,784 Male circumcisions were performed and 2,006 Voluntary Counseling and Testing of HIV performed.