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FAO Deputy Representative Dr Otto Vianney Muhinda in an interview on the Yanze Catchment site

FAO has supported the YAHOPROC (Yanze Horticulture Promotion Cooperative) cooperative to the tune of US $ 1.2 million in successive projects that have produced more vegetables to combat malnutrition and generate more income for farmers, according to the Deputy Representative of the FAO (United Nation Food and Agriculture organization), Dr Otto Vianney Muhinda.

”FAO first supported a project to strengthen vegetable cultivation through smart small scale irrigation technology, then promote the pig farming, and now another project is of fish farming in dam sheet water ponds. We are now participating in the fish harvesting ceremony in the first dam of three initiated dams in the area. The water from this Yanze stream is used in Kigali, but it is also used to irrigate 60 hectares of vegetable fields on the Yanze catchment site, at the same time as this water helps to breed fish that are very suitable to fight malnutrition and generate financial income for the 400 members and neighbours of the YAHOPROC Cooperative”, underlined Dr Otto Muhinda.

He noted that the fish in the pond weighs between 700g and 400g. Which is a happy performance for the fish farming starter in that area?

The Executive Director of the NGO APEFA, Oscar NZABONIMPA

 “We have five dams through which we produce vegetables and fish. FAO trained more than 700 farmers and gain capacity of sustainably profit the good result of the project called “Know Water Better”.

The sustainable business available in that mentioned area are consists of cultivating, harvesting and selling, earning money and then investing in horticultural piggery and aquaculture with the aim of income according to the seasons Already the cooperative has reached a capital of more than 5 million Rwandan francs, and it plans to buy a vehicle that will help the agriculture of vegetables and aquaculture on market. After this harvest, we intend to grant them the fish seeds thanks to our partnership with RAB”, added the FAO Deputy Representative in charge of the Programs.

Harvesting of fish in Ponds

FAO is active in Rulindo district and other districts where this project can be replicated with the support of other partners. The rural fish farming practiced in the Yanze catchment as part of an integrated agriculture can be extended to the farmer who has his capacities strengthened, especially since fish remains a benchmark for improving the quality of nutrition.

“Rulindo is one of the poorest districts in the country with acute malnutrition. This Project has been shown to help people lift themselves out of poverty and acute malnutrition and then enjoy excellent finances and quality food,” continued Dr Otto Muhinda.

For the Executive Director of the NGO APEFA or Action for the Protection of the Environment and Agriculture Sectors Promotion

“A conflict over the use of Yanze’s water has been resolved. The local population complained that they did not take advantage of the water from their stream, which only benefited the urban people of Kigali. With the support of FAO and the technical implementation of APEFA, Yanze water is rationally used to irrigate the vegetable fields of smallholder farmers and fish farming, then in other hand The Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) takes the other part to serve the urban populations. This demonstrates fair use by all. Moreover, the conflict was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction“, said Oscar NZABONIMPA.

The sale of fish in the store of the YAHOPROC Cooperative

The three solar powered pumps given by APEFA to irrigate fields up to 200 meters from the position of the solar pumps. Farmer will no longer need the use of human energy consuming treadle pumps to irrigate; Local farmers are now being trained in the use of these technologies.