The New Times (Kigali)

31 March 2011

Rwanda: Meteorology Agency to Work More With Farmers

The Rwanda Meteorology Agency (RMA) has unveiled plans to work more closely with farmers by ensuring efficient information dissemination on weather forecasts.

The mutual cooperation will allow farmers to use data collected by the agency to determine the appropriate time to plant their crops.

The decision was reached after a two-day workshop that brought together the agency and agronomists from around the country.

Speaking to The New Times, the Director of RMA, John Ntaganda, said that farmers are now expected to put to good use the agency's forecasts.

"Farmers have not been using our services because they did not know how we work and the importance of forecasts for their crops," Ntaganda said, adding that the interaction has helped the agronomists and veterinary officers to understand the importance of the forecasts.

Ntaganda also said that the agency is working on strengthening its services to be able to give early warnings for severe weather to its stakeholders.

Jean Damascene Nsengiyumva, an agronomist from Muhama Sector in Kirehe District, said that the interaction was an enriching experience.

"We did not know how this service (meteorology) works, but this has given us first-hand information and we will use the data productively," he said.

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