Farmers in Ngororero are improving the tonnage of wheat yields but also find it difficult to continue with their agricultural activities when their legal case with a project the stole the cooperative unresolved.
Their Farming and Livestock agriculture cooperative (KABKM) used to yield 700 kilos of wheat in 2006 on each hector and has over the ten years improved it to 3.5 tonnes because of consistent good methods of growing and managing wheat-farms and the continued government support including training them in technicalities used, assistance with fertilizers and seeds.
They grow the wheat on 25 hectors on farm land consolidated from the fragmented subsistence land and the Nyaruka seeds are paying off with the commencing support of the Ministry of agriculture, Rwanda Agriculture Board and the sector depends on 70% agriculture.
The sector also grows tea, beans, maize and Irish potatoes. Last season on 431 hectors and 30 were affected by wheat pests and the cooperative members managed to control them with a plant clinic in the sector.
New terraces are being cut to avoid erosion because the project is near Nyabarongo river swamp.
But RAB buys their yields every after a season at good prices making it easier for a reliable market and keep the yields. They keep some of the wheat and sell it when the kilo is above Rwf350.
They have had discussions with the Azam wheat and beverages processing industry to be their supplier.
To improve their quality of wheat, the cooperative buys medicine from RAB and pests, a farming practice which saw it end the Nkongwa a or the maize worm which had eaten a lot of their maize.
“The maize was treated and were trained to treat the other crop diseases. Yields have a market and on each hector are 100 kilos of seeds and we yield 3.5 tonnes. Wheat growing is now earning them livestock and relocating us into modern residential places,” says Fulgence Ndikubwimana Kabaya sector Agronomist.
Inspection commit president Jean Damascene Habimana, helps the association coordinate activities and share equally the proceeds including diversifying their farming and they are given other resources.
But last season some stool 12 tonnes and 300 kilos worth Rwf5m. Two of the thieves are in prison and sentenced to imprisonment for three years and a fine of Rwf2m.
The thieves had negotiated with the cooperative president but later did not comply with the agreement. Suspects were arrested and released and two were re-arrested.
We took a loan and commenced with the wheat growing business. The thieves Adolmacy personnel led by Innocent Nzeyimana along a French and with whom they had promised the cooperative assist with cow disease medicines.
“We have no money on the account because we to sell had 10tonnes of wheat we had bought with the Rwf10m loan. We are asking government to intervene so we can pay the loan,” says Jean Damascene Habimana , a member of the KABKM cooperative in Kabaya sector, Southern province.
Wheat is grown in hilly areas mainly in Northern Province and parts of Western Province. There are over 100 wheat growing cooperatives countrywide.