Rwanda invests in climate information project to boost farming

RWANDA – Rwanda has set out US$674,220 to fund a new project that will focus on providing climate change information service and promote disaster risk reduction to farmers in the country, according to New Times.

According to Desire Kagabo, the project leader, the initiative will be developed within a 21 months’ period and upon completion will increase disaster risk reduction by providing information to farmers through radios and televisions.

“We have a radar that can scan the whole country every 7 minutes on climate status through weather automatic stations that can disseminate the information to farmers,” he said.

Desire explained that the climatic information will be disseminate through agriculture extension service groups and 210 radio listeners’ clubs composed of farmers that will be created across the 14 districts in Rwanda,

Additionally, television displays in farmers’ cooperative sites and sector offices will also partake in the dissemination of the information.

The ministry of agriculture will work in conjunction with the Rwanda meteorological agency to plan and advise farmers on the most suitable crops to plant based on the projected rainfall quantity the forecast produced.

“Seasonal forecast must be mainstreamed into agricultural extension services programme, ‘Twigire Muhinzi’, and agriculture planning, especially to be able to deliver climate services and information for rural farmers,” he said.

He added that the climate information services will be able to reach at least 3 million farmer promoters grouped under agriculture extension groups.

Change in weather patterns has adversely affected farmers in the country whereby expectation of rains in the month of September disappointed the farmers amid timely planting for season A.

Dry spells have led to total crop failure as famers lament the losses associated with the disaster.

Earlier this year Rwanda had organised a Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, training workshop to enhance their communication of climate information services to different users and improve their understanding of it.

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