The Development Bank of Rwanda on Wednesday handed over six tractors to Muvumba P8 Rice Growers Cooperative in Rwempasha sector, Nyagatare District.
The cooperative of 1085 farmers recently received a loan from BRD of Rwf 174 million to acquire the machines. According to its president, John Mujarugamba, the aim is to modernize the cooperative’s activities in order to increase the farmers’ incomes and improve their lives.
BRD’s Chief Investment Officer, Livingston Byamungu, pointed out that the tractors will save a lot of time and money.
“Using manpower, it costs Rwf 200,000 and takes two months to plough a field of one hectare; with a tractor, it takes just two days at a cost of Rwf 60,000,” he explained. “What one tractor can do in a day would take a person four months.”
Byamungu therefore requested the cooperative’s members to take good care of the machines because they will increase production enabling the cooperative to supply rice countrywide.
Although Muvumba P8 Rice Growers Cooperative has 1,050 hectares of land at its disposal, it currently exploits 824ha at an average yield of four tons per hectare. The tractors will allow them to use all the 1,050ha, resulting in an increment of 1,954 tons of rice which translates in Rwf 537 million of extra revenue per year.
The guest of honor at the handover, the State Minister for Agriculture Fulgence Nsengiyumva, called upon Muvumba members to continue to work together, and use the new tractors and the swamp to increase production.
“These tractors are a game changer, there is going to be a tremendous reduction in workload and you will get the job done very easily and quickly, which is going to increase production,” Nsengiyumva said, pledging the government’s continued full support.