Photo: The New Times
The New Times, 17. February 2013
To be able to sustain the food production that has for the last few years rendered Rwanda food secure, government introduced a number of policies, some of them have come under scrutiny with suggestions that people were being ordered on how to use their land. The New Times’ Felly Kimenyi interviewed Agriculture Minister
Dr Agnes Kalibata to expound on these claims and other issues concerning the agriculture sector. Below are the excerpts.
The New Times (TNT): You may begin by telling us the status of food security in the country…
AK: Since we started the crop intensification programme to increase food security we have not looked back.
We have met a few challenges here and there along the way, like irregular rains but these were not big enough to threaten our position. As we start a new season from season A into B, I see no major problem.
There were challenges in some areas in the beginning of the previous planting season because of the rains that came and then disappeared in some places but I should say everything is on track now.
TNT: Speaking about problems could you be specific and tell us which regions were affected?
AK: When we started the season rains were not so great, in some areas they came and disappeared along the way while in some areas they did not appear at all…here we can talk about areas like Kayonza and Kerehe districts which had problems getting started and some areas in the Southern Province.
But even with those problems, not all crops get affected, it is crops like maize that need a lot of rain at the beginning but for others like beans were not affected because they have a short growing period. I can actually say we had a good bean harvest-probably not as good as we may have wanted, even with the problems we encountered. We are way beyond food security we are working for excess for market.
We are looking at margins for selling for our farmers to see this as a profitable business.
So you will find that in most districts that I mentioned, the crop that was affected most is maize but beans are there…read whole interview