Friday 24 February 2017 21:34

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“It is within our power to use irrigation,” President Kagame

The Government of Rwanda is committed to intensify irrigation initiatives in order to cope with climate change effects that have been affecting negatively agricultural production over the last few years.

The government takes the move to expedite agricultural irrigation when the world is facing climate change issues related to El Ninho; which has a negative impact on agriculture in many countries including our own Rwanda.

While speaking with close to 3000 local leaders of Gasabo District on February 07, 2017, President Paul Kagame urged local leaders to embrace irrigation practice instead of relying rain-fed farming. 

“We cannot decide when rain falls but it is within our power to use irrigation. We cannot depend on rainfall,” pointed out President Kagame.

To mitigate effects of drought and boost productivity, the government has been investing hugely in both big and small scale irrigation schemes to provide farmers with modern irrigation technology as sustainable solution to cope with the drought. 

Since 2014, the Government has been supporting farmers with small scale irrigation facilities subsidized up to 50% of the total cost. The scheme supports individual farmers, cooperatives and group of farmers who are willing to irrigate their crops close to water bodies. 

The current status of the area developed with formal irrigation infrastructure in Rwanda is around 44,000ha. 

“Rwanda has huge potential in water that should be exploited to overcome drought challenges. Irrigation should become a culture among all Rwandan farmers,” says Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources. 

Irrigation comes at the front line of the main talking points in the National Leadership Retreat that is due from February 24 to March 02, 2017, where more strategies will be discussed to accelerate this programme countrywide, according to Stella Ford Mugabo, Minister who is in charge of Cabinet Affairs.