Facilitated by Action for Environment Protection and Agriculture Sector Promotion (APEFA), farmers from Ngeruka Sector of Bugesera District have on December 17, 2021, conducted a study tour for peer learning on solar powered irrigation system use and maintenance done by YAHOPROC cooperative done in Ngoma Sector of Rulindo District.
The tour sought to study the success attained by Yanze Horticulture Promotion Cooperative (YAHOPROC) through the project dubbed “Rational use of Yanze River water for local agriculture development in Rulindo District” implemented by Action Pour la Protection de l’Environnement et la Promotion des Filieres Agricoles (APEFA).
It brought together 20 farmers members of four cooperatives from Ngeruka Sector; KOANGER (Koperative y’Abahinzi b’Ibigori ba Ngeruka), KOPABINGE (Koperative y’Abahinzi b’Imboga ba Ngeruka) KOTEMUNGE (Koperative Terimbere Muhinzi wa Ngeruka) and KOJYAMUNGE (Koperative Jyambere Muhinzi wa Ngeruka), authorities from Ngeruka Sector, farmer members of YAHOPROC and APEFA staff.
The farmers from Bugesera District visited the fishpond owned by YAHOPROC where they were explained how fish farming benefits their families by improving their livelihood and socioeconomic statuses as the fish produce acquired gets sold to the market.
YAHOPROC President, Mr. Pierre Mbarushimana told the visitors how the fishpond was built in protection of predators that would hunt fish for food like snakes which he said increase the harvest.
Here, farmers from Bugesera- a district with a large number of lakes and dams which is naturally easy for aquaculture- raised a concern of thieves who steal fish harvest in farms which made one “give up” fish farming.
Mr. Mbarushimana advised them to carry out the alike business in cooperatives which he said enabled them see their example as a success so far.
Referring to a saying “United we stand, divided we fall”, Ngeruka Cell Executive Secretary, Moses Ariho said that “now we’ve learnt that unity and cooperation can help us see aquaculture prosper in our area which has got many lakes and a large area of waters.”
The farmers also were taken in gardens of vegetables in Munyarwanda Cell of Ngoma Sector which they said ‘inspired’ them to sustainable vegetable farming.
They visited the vegetables including beetles, cabbages, amaranth ‘dodo’among other crops planted in farms irrigated by Yanze River water.
YAHOPPROC President, Mbarushimana promised help to Bugesera farmers to get the market in Kigali which they’ve already secured before and a lack of it has been hampering them from getting the deserved incomes from their farming sweat.
Mr. Eric Sibomana who represented APEFA at the study tour urged the participants to “always learn from study tours like this that have seen success.”
He said APEFA will continue to support study tours to inspire smallholder farmers to carry out smart climate agriculture so as to improve livelihood and attain food security.