M a r k e t N e w s

Rwanda: $13 Million Solar Powered Irrigation Scheme To Benefit Farmers

Posted on : Friday, 2nd December 2016

Rwanda's efforts to promote climate resilient agriculture and sustainable production in drought prone parts of the country have been boosted by the launch of a new solar-powered irrigation scheme in Ngoma District, Eastern Province.

 
The $13 million (about Rwf10.8 billion) irrigation scheme was built through Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) under a partnership deal between the Government of Rwanda and Japan.
 
The irrigation scheme will benefit over 980 farmers engaged in rice, vegetable and fruit production in Rurenge and Remera sectors of the drought prone district, according to Fulgence Nsengiyumva, the Minister of State for Agriculture.
 
It covers 300 hectares, of which 265 hectares are hillside and a marshland of 35 hectares.
 
Speaking at the launch, Nsengiyumva said the scheme will ease access to irrigation water, as well as boost farmers capacity and agriculture production in the district.
 
The minister added that the new scheme is part of a government programme to scale up irrigation across the country in a bid to cope with the effect of prolonged dry spells and ensure sustainable agriculture activities.
 
The government has in recent past introduced small irrigation technologies, sprinkler, drip and rain-gun kits that are powered by portable diesel/petrol engines. There are also efforts to promote rain-water harvesting using plastic and concrete tanks, treadle pump and dam sheet technologies. The small irrigation equipment are subsidised by the government up to 50 per cent to enable small-scale farmers engage in sustainable agriculture practices to boost production. They are targeted at farmers with between one hectare and 10 hectares.
 
"We should take advantage of these irrigation facilities to maximise our potential and enhance yields and income," the minister told farmers at the launch.
 
Hiroyuki Nakada, the chief representative of JICA, said agriculture, as one of priority sectors, needs more support to boost the country's development efforts.
 
The agriculture sector employs more than 72 per cent of the population and contributes 33 per cent to national gross domestic product.
 
"JICA is committed to continue supporting government programmes that are geared at strengthening climate resilient agriculture. So, this irrigation scheme is milestone toward this goal," Nakada added.

Source : allafrica.com
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