10 February 2012

Rwanda: Gatsibo Maize Farmers Discuss Post Harvest Handling

GATSIBO-Maize cooperatives in Gatsibo District have called on development partners to lend a helping hand in setting up more post harvest handling facilities.

The call was made during a two-day retreat that brought together maize farmers cooperatives' in the district and development partners.

According to the farmers, post harvest facilities help them store their yields for long without selling them to opportunistic middlemen at cheaper prices.

During the retreat, Duterimbere IMF Limited, a micro finance institution, expressed the will to finance farmers to set up post harvest handling silos.

Farmers were urged to shun traders who buy their produce at throw away prices and were called upon to work with Duterimbere as a way of maintaining their harvest.

Last year, maize farmers in the district generated over Rwf 200 million.

Gédéon Nyangambabare, a maize farmer in Kabarore Sector said how, through Duterimbere IMF, he managed to register high maize yields.

"At first, I harvested poor yields due to lack of enough funds to boost my farming activities...but when Duterimbere financed my activities, my annual production almost increased tenfold," he stated.

Pastor Sylvester Ngwabije, the president of Gatsibo Maize Investment Group, emphasised that maize farmers have projected an annual production of 64,000 tonnes of maize.

"This is the initial annual production we expect as a result of innovations acquired through various trainings. It was also accelerated by the government subsidising fertilisers," he observed.

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