By Basanda Ns Oswald
A project was launched for farmers in Rwanda with a value of 300 million USD, which aims to support them by giving them a loan with a very low interest rate of 8%, while the usual lenders were taking between 24% and 18% depending on how the client negotiated and bank address.
The project will help farmers with insurance due to the losses they face, which can make them go bankrupt; it will also help in irrigating various crops so hunger will be reduced, insurance will be given to farmers who will participate in the program.
Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana, the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (MINAGRI) who officially opened the project, encouraged women and youth to participate in the program, because women were less likely to participate in agricultural loans like men.
Women and youth are required to participate in the program, in order to develop, as well as youth, they are required to participate in agriculture, because agriculture and livestock are not for the poor and the elderly.
He said, "Agriculture and breeding require a lot of money and effort, we have to increase the production of agriculture and breeding on a large scale, to lift the population out of poverty, there is a need for self-sufficiency in food, to open markets and to supply the industry, because there is no production, it will not work’’.
Also, the funds of the project will help farmers to irrigate crops, do research, let them develop, $50 billion will be used through loans between the project and banks, the interest will be equal to 8%, depending on the discussions between the client and the bank.
The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (MINAGRI) said that due to the discussions that have been held between farmers and breeders that they face losses caused by disasters, whether the sun is burning or heavy rains, there is money earmarked to support them in agricultural insurance and breeding.
Women and youth are encouraged to participate in agriculture and breeding, because they will be facilitated in investment. In irrigation and research, 75% is used for investment and insurance to reduce the problems faced by farmers.
The project will help the farmer in these difficult times, it will increase the production, it will reduce the consequences of the war between Russia and Ukraine, because the additives and fertilizers that reached the farmers were expensive.
A farmer is going to be taken care of from poverty, because if they are not taken care of they cannot send their child to school. The project will work in all regions of the country,
In particular, the project will work in the Southern Province in the areas of Muhanga, Nyanza, Ruhango, Huye, Gisagara and Nyaruguru, while in the Northern Province there is Gicumbi, in Kigali City there is Gasabo District and Kicukiro in the Eastern Province. The project will work in the districts of Kayonza, Bugesera, Gatsibo, Nyagatare and Kirehe while in the Western Province the project will work in the districts of Rusizi and Nyamasheke to irrigate crops and improve wetlands.
Livestock farmers were asked to plant grass for their livestock and provide livestock insurance where they are required to pay 15,000 per year for their cattle in the event of an emergency and they are unable to find another one.
Farmers in particular are advised to use the additives properly without spreading them near the crops, because these crops will be well planted and produce a good yield.
One of the farmers who participated in the meeting named Gafaranga Joseph from Urugaga Imbaraga, based on the fact that women and youth should be facilitated in this project, said, "Women and youth are the majority, they are the ones who know the most about household chores, they are the ones who know the details we are basic, they should be facilitated, the youth do not have a guarantee to enter agriculture, the most common farmers are over 50 years old and young workers, use technology and thus the families will develop''.
Gafaranga Joseph from Urugaga Imbaraga praised the program of counseling farmers, because they are going to see benefits in the infrastructure, because business and good work will produce results for the people and the farmer.
He said, "A good price will give him profit, it will make him get good seeds, the business will be organized, it will help even during the drought, reservoirs will be built during the harvest".
He fully appreciated the way the government made it easier for farmers, the way to provide low interest on loans, while the Sacco's interest rate was 24% and the commercial banks' interest rate was 18%. in advocating for farmers''.
He said, "Finally, I think we will see a farmers' bank for investment, due to the fact that the government has started to provide insurance for the guarantee, we will bring together farmers who have profitable agriculture to solve their poverty problems, and they will move from the current level of poverty to another towards wealth.
The project was funded by the World Bank, with the participation of various leaders and farmers in Rwanda, who are proud that it is the first time that this amount of money supports agriculture and livestock in food self-sufficiency and opening up markets and industries.