Kayonza: Complementarity of farmers’ and district’s IMIHIGO speeds up development

Farmers in the Rwinkwavu and Nyamirama sectors of Kayonza District say that good collaboration with their leaders in the development and implementation of performance contracts is imperative in their development. They thank Transperancy International Rwanda, that enabled them to take part in the process and now the harvest is satisfactory.

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Farmers and members of the Indatwa Kayonza cooperative grow rice in Rwinkwavu marsh. They  say that although there are still problems to be solved, their agriculture has become fruitful after their leaders have taken their wishes into account. Ntanshuti François, the president of this cooperative confirms it: “we had made a bet to extend the rice fields starting from the corn fields especially in the northern zone and we did it. This helped farmers to reap more benefits. At the moment, each member has the health insurance and all 4217 members have accounts at SACCO”.

Ngirinshuti goes on to say that even though they have achieved their own performance contracts, some of their proposals to the district are not yet into practice. “This marsh is very large, but its arable area is still small because of insufficient water. In the 2017/2018 performance contracts, we asked for water to be brought in so that we could exploit it in all its size, but alas, nothing was done except that we saw some of the partners come to make the state of the needs. In this year’s performance contracts, we will still ask the same thing to the district until the problem is solved“, he said.

For them, it is a great thing to be approached to ask for their opinion about performance contracts in preparation, as Augustin Gakwavu, a farmer in the Nyamirama sector, pointed out. “For the moment, we have asked the district to put in its performance contracts the promotion of the price of milk and our local crops, which is still very low. We asked again that the prices of chemical fertilizers be reduced because they are always very expensive for the farmer. We finally asked them to get us guarantee funds so we could easily access bank loans with confidence to have the power and promote our agriculture, “he says.

Consideration of farmers’ desiderata, an imperative

Octave Semwaga, in charge of planning in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) says that the participation of farmers in the development of the country is essential and that is why several partners try to join them in collaboration with the Rwandan government. “We want professional farmers who know what they are doing; who do not practice agriculture because they missed something else to do. This is why your wishes should be taken into consideration and included in the performance contracts of all the administrative entities starting with the district. We will not stop putting too much force on it and we will stick together in finding solutions to existing problems, “he says.

Transperancy International Rwanda and Union Imbaraga help farmers raise their desires to performance contracts.

This assistance is carried out through three levels consisting of of the farmer’s capacity building so that he can take part in the elaboration of the performance contracts of his district.

First, they help the farmers to collect the problems that exist through the farmers’ groups, then gather them at the sector level, analyze them in collaboration with the district, pass them on to the district leaders so that they can put them in their own performance contracts, and finally put farmers and other partners aware of district performance contracts for inspiration.

The Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) study showed that in 2018, 75.89% of farmers welcomed their participation in what the state does for them. 49.41% of farmers and 57.7% of breeders were pleased with their contribution, as stated by Dr. Etienne Ndimukaga from RGB.

 

Jean Baptiste Karegeya

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