The New Times (Kigali)

17 January 2014

Rwanda: Rwamagana Farmers Anticipate Maize Bumper Harvest

Rwamagana District is poised for another maize bumper harvest in the 2013 farming season C, if the early yields from some sectors are anything to go by.

Some sectors in the district are expected to double their last year's production, something that will bolster the district's output.

The District mayor, Nehemie Uwimana, told The New Times on Wednesday that the district was projecting to harvest about 60,000 tonnes of maize following "good rainfall".

The mayor said this was more than the 40,000 tonnes recorded last and attributed the increase in production to the land consolidation programme.

Uwimana also pointed out that the farmers received subsidised inputs under the government's Farmers Support Programme during the season which greatly contributed to the expected bumper harvest.

"We planted maize on 20,000 hectares, and expect to harvest 60,000 tonnes. Farmers will consume 20,000 tonnes and sell 40,000 tonnes. The total sales will earn farmers over Rwf4 billion," Uwimana said.

Innocent Ukizuru, the district agriculture officer, said the improved harvest was as a result of modern farming methods that have lately been adopted by the farmers.

"There is no doubt the increase in productivity was due to farmers use of artificial fertilisers and adoption of modern farming methods. We hope more research on the crop will increase productivity even higher," he said.

As a result, a number of farmers in the district are upbeat as they expect to earn money from the maize sales, in the near future.

They, however, remain concerned about their capacity to manage the post harvest challenges.

Jean Marie Habimana, a farmer, said crops are affected by rain after harvest.

"This is the time when maize growers begin to smile. The crop yields are good and there is no doubt we will make money. Our only worry is on the capacity to stock our crops," Habimana said.

She appealed to the government to help farmers minimise losses after harvest by constructing them storage facilities.

Maize is one of the crops earmarked for growing under the land consolidation programme.

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