The government is mounting efforts to ensure that farmers take up the use of small scale irrigation technologies, one of the strategies to boost agriculture commercialisation.
It is hoped that the efforts will help farmers change the attitude and opt for the use of the practice that has already been subsidized by government for up to 50 percent depending on the farmer’s status.
“The government provides an amount of money that is channeled through districts in order to boost small scale irrigation technologies across the country,” said Dr Geraldine Mukeshimana, minister of agriculture and animal resources.
Farmers can access subsidies as Individuals special groups, grouped communities, farmer cooperatives among others.
Since its inception in 2014, the technology has not been welcomes easily by farmers as most looked at it as costly while others thought it is not appropriate to their needs due to low skills in use of technology.
“It’s no longer acceptable to see any Rwandans facing shortage of food while rivers cross their farmlands,” The Minister said on Monday.
The government adopted use of Science technology and innovation to increase productivity of the sector that contributes 33 percent to GDP and employs over 70 percent of the population.
Christine Murebwayire Chairperson of the agriculture chamber at private sector Federation-PSF says that small scale irrigation scheme will help farmers mitigate risks of climate change mainly drought.
“Our small scale farmers have challenges during the dry season and most of them end up losing their crops,” she said.
Under the small scale irrigation scheme, a farmer can choose from rain-water harvesting through tanks (plastic and concrete), 1ha, 5ha, and 10ha complete sprinkler as well as treadle pump.
Others are drip and rain-gun kits with portable diesel or petrol pump-units and pipes and dam sheet technologies depending on the choice of a farmer.