Nasho farmers in Kirehe district are counting days before they say goodbye to drought related problems they have endured for decades affecting agriculture production in their area.
The $24 million hillside irrigation project supported by Buffet Foundation(1200 hectares) in Nasho valley is at the finishing phase.
KTPress has learnt it will be completed in the next four months.
“Latest early September the irrigation will be launched to end drought ever,” said Theoneste Nizeyimana, executive secretary of Nasho sector.
Nizeyimana said, 70% of pipelines that will channel water into the valley were connected to the nearby Cyambwe Lake.
The 34km road network that will facilitate activities from farming to harvest were also handed over by Remote Group, a US firm.
The Rwanda Reserve Forces are also finishing up construction of the 52 houses, two in one that will host the expropriated families. Every house is expected to cost Rwf7million.
Finished work stands at 80%.
Officials in agriculture ministry previously told KTPress that Lindsay International Sales & Services LLC won the tender to supply and install irrigation equipment while also conducting technical training on the irrigation plant.
“The site is very busy with technicians assembling tractors,” Nzeyimana said.
The Site is expected to be irrigated by 63 pivots, which were set to be shipped in January 2016 for the irrigation to launch in March this year.
Nzeyimana said part of the required pivots is being assembled at the site, while others will be shifted in a couple of weeks.
Ministry of agriculture was not available to give reasons for this delay.
Meanwhile, irrigation experts are studying feasibility of dividing up the site into clusters of Soya, beans and maize.
Nasho irrigation project is a philanthropy activity.
In February 2015, Howard Buffet – the eldest son to US multi-billionaire investor and philanthropist, Warren Buffet, committed to invest $500 million (Rwf 350 billion) in Rwandan agriculture, to transform it from rudimentary and subsistence to modern and commercial.
While in Rwanda in September 2015, Buffet said Rwanda deserves it.
“This is the only country on the continent of Africa where I feel confident to do such a big project for a number of reasons, one is the government support, two is stability, three it is a complicated project so it needs a lot of collaboration which you may not find elsewhere in the world, if not in Rwanda.”
Ministers of local government, agriculture and cabinet affairs were at the site this afternoon to witness progress of the activities.
Another big project in Buffet Foundation donation to Rwanda at planning phase is construction of an agriculture institute in Karama, Bugesera district.