Rwanda will focus more on investing in water harvesting and irrigation infrastructures in marshlands and on hillsides in order to enhance food security and achieve economic prosperity for all Rwandans, said Rwandan agriculture minister on Wednesday.
“Development of irrigation schemes is part of the government’s program to achieve the overall vision of ending extreme poverty and promoting the country’s economic prosperity. Over the years, Rwanda depended on rain fed agriculture which had put the country at risk of food shortages resulting from prolonged dry seasons,” said agriculture minister Gerladine Mukeshimana at a news conference on the status of food production in the country in the capital city of Kigali.
Mukeshimana said irrigated land surface on hillsides covers about 50,000 hectares which has strengthened the agriculture sector’s efforts to produce high value crops most especially horticultural produce.
Food security situation remains under control whereby the country targets to produce 775,114 tons of maize and 585,439 tons of beans in 2018 harvest in February, according to her.
She said that the country targets to increase irrigated land surface from current 48,508 hectares to 102,284 hectares by 2024, as well as value addition for agriculture sector will continue to be priority especially through irrigation and marshland development.
According to the ministry of agriculture, the Rwandan government has improved agriculture production through supporting farmers to construct water retaining dams and irrigation systems in almost all districts across the country, which enable farmers to get water for irrigation throughout the year, it said.
Agriculture in Rwanda accounts for a third of Rwanda’s GDP, read the website of Rwanda Development Board. Enditem