The 3-days training on smart agriculture held in Nyanza District has ended with trainees conducting a study tour at Rwabicuma Dam serving in hillside irrigation for agricultural production.
Organized by Action pour la Protection de l’Environnement et la Promotion des Filieres Agricoles (APEFA) in partnership with Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), the training brought together model farmers (extensionists), Cells Social Economic Development Officers (SEDOs), sector Agronomists among other authorities from selected sectors of Nyanza and Gisagara Districts.
The training which started on March 15, 2022 was attended also by Vivine Amariza, Community Development Officer at REMA.
The training is in line with project “Community capacity building in the areas of livelihood and agroforestry for forest landscape restoration in the Mayaga Region’’ implemented by APEFA aligned with Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) #GreenAmayaga Project implemented by REMA.
The training sessions were moderated by Dr. Marie Chantal Mutimawurugo, Ph.D.
Trainees from sectors where the project is implemented learned CSA practices reducing climate change risks on agriculture; improved seeds, timely planting, intercropping, crops rotation, irrigation etc.
At the training, adaptation and mitigation were the terms that were focused on most on as ways to deal with rampant climate change that affects agricultural production. Adaptation can be understood as the process of adjusting to the current and future effects of climate change.
Mitigation on its side, means making the impacts of climate change less severe by preventing or reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere.
It was said at the training that CSA is a must for ensuring food security amidst climate change.
Furthermore, plant nutrients must be all applied in the correct way and that losses to the environment are minimized.
It was revealed also that correct fertilizer use helps with climate change adaptation and mitigation in different important ways; by contributing to plant growth, increasing soil carbon sequestration, enhancing crop resilience and water use efficiency and by reducing nutrient losses to the environment.
After the training sessions for two days, the trainees drove to Rwabicuma Sector of Nyanza District where they visited some practical activities and projects implemented in climate smart agriculture.
They visited agroforestry farms where it was said at least a fruit tree can yield about Rwf10.000 in three or four months. The trees also help in fighting erosion.
They also visited Rwabicuma Dam with a height of 19 meters, a 1.82 million m3 reservoir which is used for irrigation on a 471 ha command area. The irrigation activities done through the dam water are also carried out in Nyagisozi and Cyabakamyi Sectors.
The dam was launched back in 2012, said Jean Baptiste Mbarushimana who added that they founded a cooperative with 30 members with now 55 members while they have 50 member requests to join them.
The farmers sell the pepper which they irrigate with the dam water and they harvest between 10 and 12 tons/ha per season. The cooperative also has a greenhouse.
They also do fish farming in the dam which also yields money for them.
Mr. Mbarushimana said that even if the rain didn’t rain for two years, they could continue doing their pepper agribusiness without stopping.
After the training, the farmers wrote and signed performance contracts of activities related to climate smart agriculture in their respective areas of residence.