By Elias Hakizimana.
National Cooperative Confederation of Rwanda (NCCR) pledges to implement government policies of land use management and urges its members to respect agricultural policy in coping with climate change issues.
Joseph Mukibi, the vice-chairman of NCCR said that they are ready to contribute to agriculture transformation from subsistence to market-driven agriculture through land consolidation good practices.
“we are going to consolidate the land on a wide area through cooperatives and we will at the same time establish measures to protect it from erosion. We need to increase the quality and quantity of agricultural produce,” said Mukibi.
James Nkubito, Director of Planning and Capacity Building in Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) noted that farmers’ cooperatives have a significant role to play in handling climate change issues as they occupy a wide place on the land of Rwanda.
“We use farmers’ cooperatives as they have potentiality in raising advocacy and campaign awareness in land use andmanagement and you know their activities have a vital role in climate change issues,” Nkubito said.
The 2018 year was marked with various disasters due to climate change issues, including landslides and floods and this affected farmers’ cooperatives.
Evariste Tugirinshuti, chairman of maize farmers’ Federation said farmers face various challenges and losses due to climate change issues. He urged that research findings would save a lot in this regard when fully used in coping with further disasters from climate change.
He said farmers are encouraged to join cooperatives in order to attain the market-based agriculture as individual farmers used to have poor quantity and quality of produce.
Some of the rampant challenges to farmers as he said include drought and excessive rainfall in some districts of the country.
Joseph Mutware, an expert and consultant in climate change issues in his research presentation said that climate change have effects on agricultural produce value addition.
Mutware revealed that in 2015, 157,700 households in Rwanda faced a huge drought, undermining 62,000 tons of agricultural produce.
The USAID research in 2012 showed that a mass of plantations in Kayonza District failed to germinate because of drought.
He demonstrated that the western and northern experienced much floods and landslides while the Eastern and Southern Provinces faced excessive drought.
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