The World Bank Country Director for Rwanda Ms. Diarietou Gaye has visited to review the impact of the World Bank’s farmer funded projects such as Rural Sector Support Project (RSSP) and animal husbandry, Water harvesting and Hillside irrigation (LWH).
Gaye visited Rugeramigozi rice growers’ cooperative and Karongi 12 cooperative, respectively supported by RSSP and LWH Projects on November 27, 2013.
Ms. Gaye said she was impressed with what she heard and saw, and that she had no doubt that by the time of her next visit, they will have reached their productivity target of 7 tons per hectare, and developed more.
Gaye congratulated the farmers on their great achievement and encouraged them to continue to the good work.
The marshland that was once very unproductive with the productivity not exceeding 0.3 tons per hectare has now become a source of income for more than 1,200 families.
Farmers in Rugeramigozi expressed their gratitude to the Government and the World Bank for the development of the marshland and dam construction.
The rice farmers in the marshland have increased the productivity to 4 tons per hectare because of irrigation, extension services and other capacity building programs given by the RSSP Project.
Farmers whose incomes have tripled since the Project started have expressed how they experienced significant changes in their livelihoods.
They told the story of how they can now afford to pay their health insurance, school fees for their children, bring electricity to their homes, among others.
In Karongi, the World Bank Country Director was taken to see extensive land husbandry and hillside irrigation.
She visited an Irish potato producing group called Duharanirekujyambere. Farmers in that group explained how before terracing, their land was not productive, so steep and had soil erosion.
Their agriculture was of subsistence and individualistic. They then told their story of coming together into groups of 20 people to transform their land, increase their income and develop themselves.
They were found making compost which they were to use for the next season and sell the excess to other farmers. In September and October, when farmers were planting their crops, the group sold compost equivalent to Rwf 3,000,000.
They also explained how as a group they started the saving program which facilitated them to get access to input credit from their SACCO.
They were proud to say that each of them had a kitchen garden at their home to improve their nutrition.
Most of all, they were happy to explain how their productivity increased 5 fold and could afford enough food for their families and take the 70% surplus to the market.
They expressed their gratitude to the Government and the World Bank for this complete change.
RSSP program has developed more than 7,000 ha of marshlands which are used by over 35,000 households for rice production.
LWH has so far developed 8,970 ha of land developed with radical terraces, where 23,000 households currently grow maize, beans and Irish potatoes.
More than 6,900,000 trees were planted along the terraces to protect their embankments and rehabilitate the forests around the sites.
In Africa, Diarietou Gaye is Country Director for Rwanda, Eritrea, Kenya.