KOICA Vice President visits Kajevuba farmers to witness agricultural transformation

KOICA Vice President visits Kajevuba farmers to witness agricultural transformation

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Vice President for Africa, Middle East & Latin America programs, Ms. Baek Sook Hee, on Friday, 21st June 2019, visited farmers (Project beneficiaries) in the Rural Community Support Project (RCSP) intervention area of Kajevuba marshland, Gasabo District, City of Kigali to witness agricultural transformation in the area.

She was accompanied by Dr. Patrick Karangwa, Director General of Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), Mr. Raymond Mberabahizi, Vice Mayor in charge of Finance and Economic Development, Gasabo District, Mr. Jean Marie Vianney Kagenza, Acting Coordinator of SPIU SAIP/RCSP, and other officials.

Kajevuba marshland that lies in the sectors of Bumbogo, Rutunga and Gikomero in Gasabo District, benefits more than 1,648 household farmers in the area.

“I am impressed by your efforts to transform this marshland, and making it productive. This is something that is very encouraging,” Ms. Sook Hee told farmers.

She appealed to farmers to make family education a key priority and most especially in educating the girl-child.

Ms. Sook Hee pledged to pay tuition fees to the first student, from RCSP supported farmers in Kajevuba, to join university.

During the visit, Mr. Faustin Uwimana, one of the farmers shared testimony on a wide range of practices that had ultimately promoted sustainable agriculture, and poverty alleviation in the area.

“Before the development of the marshland, we were cultivating sweet potatoes, yams, sorghum and cabbages. But yield was very low and poor. We were just producing for home consumption. Now with the development of the marshland, we are producing enough for our families and surplus for local markets,” said Uwimana.

Dr. Karangwa, thanked KOICA for supporting the Government of Rwanda most especially in agriculture sector, which has immensely contributed to poverty reduction and inclusive agriculture and food systems in the country.

“It is encouraging to see farmers in Kajevuba recording an increased crop yield, especially vegetables from this marshland,” he said.

Dr. Karangwa underscored the need to continue supporting farmers with appropriate agricultural extension service delivery systems for them to move from subsistence farming to commercialisation.

“RCSP is one of the few agricultural projects that are transforming lives of farmers in Gasabo District. We are happy to see the positive results of this project on the ground and its impact on our people,” said Mr. Mberabahizi.

Farmers attribute the increased vegetable yield to improved agricultural practices and access to water for irrigation which not only increase their incomes but also breed healthier crops for markets and their families.

RCSP is a Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) funded project, implemented under  Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB)-Single Project Implementation Unit (SPIU).

The Project targets rural farmer groups and individuals, most especially smallholders in intervention areas producing rice, maize, beans, horticulture (fruits and vegetables) and other crops.