By Justin Kayiranga
One of the key components of the Green Gicumbi project is to help the people to promote watershed protection and climate resilient agriculture by helping farmers get radical terraces especially for those who cultivate in high slope areas.
Mukarange sector of Gicumbi district, is one of those areas where terraces have been set up on a surface of 50 hectares.
Farmers who were using this area before the project, say that these terraces helped them to improve their agriculture activities and saved them from the losses they encountered due to soil erosion that was affecting their farmlands.
Rwankunda Celestin, one of the farmers, says they used to cultivate with manure but during the rainy season it takes it because of the steep soil but later after getting the terraces they now cultivate and get a satisfactory yield.
He said: “We used to cultivate and apply fertilizers but because of the steep slope, when it was raining, whether it is the fertilizer or whatever we planted, the erosion had to wash them away. We could not harvest anything.”
“But since we got these terraces we no longer face any loss or soil erosion.”
Not only Celestin who sees a positive impact of these terraces, but also Uwamahoro Angelique, another farmer from Mukarange sector, said that with the use of terraces, she is expecting a double of the produce
“Before cultivating on terraces, I didn’t get a produce of more than 300 Kilograms per hectare but now I see that I will harvest at least 600 Kgs per hectare.” Angelique stated.
In order to help these farmers to make profitable farming, the Green Gicumbi project is currently building a drying site and a warehouse where these farmers will store their harvest.
Emile Nsengumuremyi who is in charge of Muvumba catchment management in the project explained that: Apart from improving their food security, we also want to expose them on the market. So the warehouse will serve in storing their yield so that they will not have difficulties getting the seeds for the next planting season and it will also enable them to cope with market rates as their produce will be stored in a good place”
The 50ha terraces are part of project’s achievements in just 18 months since its launch where more than 800ha of terraces have been established in different areas of Gicumbi district.