The quest for reforestation has become greater as environment pollution effects are biting harder, turning into a common development challenge.
Bank of Kigali understands the importance of trees and therefore took part in last Umuganda where they gave priority to tree planting in partnership with World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) under the umbrella of Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWAFA).
The exercise took place across different cells of Rweru sector, Bugesera District where over 60,000 were planted under ‘Tera Igiti’ [Plant a Tree] project meant to improve agroforestry to benefit the environment and agricultural production. The exercise attracted the CEO of Bank of Kigali, Diane Karusisi, former Minister of Environment, Dr. Vincent Biruta [Current Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation], Mayor of Bugesera District, Mutabazi Richard, Director General ICRAF Rwanda, Mukularinda Athanase, Director General RWAFA Mugabo Jean and Bank of Kigali staff.
Talking to farmers and citizens of Bugesera District, CEO Bank of Kigali Diane Karusisi explained that being part of this project meant that Bank of Kigali as a financial institution cares about the financial wellbeing of the citizens but also works to ensure food security and environmental protection of the country at large.
“The importance of tree planting is evident and that’s why we need everyone in community to take up responsibility in tree planting to conserve the environment and improve soil fertility,” she encouraged.
Karusisi also encouraged farmers in Rweru sector to join and use IKOFI – the e-wallet a solution that allows farmers access to fertilizers and agriculture loans with an easy mode of payment including taxes and personal transactions.
“Farmers in Bugesera will now have access to IKOFI agents to create a digital financial track record with IKOFI that can be used by Bank of Kigali to decide on their credit eligibility and by dialing *334 * 2#. They will be able to make transactions such as paying agro dealers, paying for labor, receiving payment when selling portion of the harvest, sending and receiving money (zero transaction fee), and Pay Ejo Heza (LTSS),” she assured.
Different types of trees that were planted include; Grevillea calliandra, Leuncaena, Senna, Alnus and Glillicidia.
Dr. Biruta appreciated Bank of Kigali for their continued and outstanding support.
Biruta noted: “Rwanda is a densely populated country with limited land. As a consequence, there is no fallow land and the soil is cultivated every season with little fertilizer application, translating to poor soils. As a strategy toward mitigating food insecurity, ICRAF developed fertilizer tree packages which have also been planted here in Rweru to protect and improve the fertility.”