By Elias Hakizimana.
USAID HingaWeze project is partnering with Rwanda Agriculture Ministry and Agroprocessing Trust Corporation Company Ltd (APTC) to set up an incentive fund for farmer promoters where initial funds will come from agrodealers’sales.
Through the pool scheme, they will be able to provide quality and affordable agro-inputs and services to smallholder farmers.
Major Canisius Kayitera, an official from Agroprocessing Trust Corporation Company Ltd (APTC) said there are over 14,099 farmer promoters countrywide.
He said Rwf2 will be deducted from each kg of agro-input sold.
“Inputs distribution has been increasing. In 2017 Season A, 12,000 tonnes of fertilisers were districuted, which increased to 24,000 tonnes in 2018 season A. In general, last year, over 45,000 tonnes of fertilizers and 4,350 tonnes were distributed,” he said.
There are over 820 agro-dealers across the country.
“Farmer promoters will receive such incentives depending on those who are active, showing their performance and achievements,” he said.
Hinga Weze Chief of Party, Daniel Gies said “We are partnering to support agro-dealers and farmer promoters. We engage in capacity building, make sure they get incentives so that they have big impact on millions of Rwandans by increasing agricultural production.”
USAID Rwanda partners with the Rwanda through Feed the Future to promote long-term, sustainable development and to help people harness the power of agriculture to end hunger.
As next step, a steering commitee comprising of different stakeholders has been set up to facilitate the establishment of the fund. It is expected to meet in a week’s time as it starts work on the fund.
The $32.6 million USAID-funded project aims at increasing smallholder farmers’income and will have benefiited over 700,000 smallholder farmers by 2022.
HingaWeze project is also supporting in establishing farmer promoter incentive fund.
According to Dr. Bucagu Charles, the Deputy Director General in charge of agriculture research and technology transfer, the initial investment in the fund is the money worth Rwf2 that will be deducted from every Kilogramme of seeds and fertilizers sold by agro-dealers where Rwf100 million can be collected per year.
However, he said, more sources will come from different partners in agriculture sector.
He said farmer promoters will form cooperatives in order to benefit from the fund.
“We have to make cooperatives at sector level and then funds pass through them so that we start income generating activities,” said Philemon Nkundimana, farmer promoter from Karongi district.
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