Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) Citizen Outreach Program has staged fight on food insecurity and malnutrition in Rwanda.
On its second day, RDF and partners joined residents of Kamonyi district to plant vegetables, maize and onions which will address the current shortage of fresh food in Kigali and countryside markets.
RDF and local leaders started a process of planting 76 hectares in the next three months to produce 300tons of maize, 2850tons of onions in Kavunja marshlands in Mugina sector.
Prices of vegetables, ingredients that add important flavour in the food, leave alone the cereals have soared.
For example, a kilo of onions in Kimironko market went from Rwf500 in the beginning of the year to nearly Rwf2000 since early April.
While addressing citizens, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Geraldine Mukeshimana assured farmers that government will ease their access to markets and the RDF officials also promised to construct feeder roads connecting farmers.
“We have been having problems with access to markets and poor roads, which result to expenses in transportation thus hiking of prices,” said Pierre-Damien Nsabimana, the chairman of cooperative COALFKA – Cooperative des Agricultures de Legumes et de Fruits de Kamonyi.
Lt. Gen. Jacques Musemakweli, the army commander urged residents to work hard to produce more as a way of ensuring food security.
“A citizen who has no food to eat cannot be secure. We want to come back here during the harvest period and find no hunger here and elsewhere in the country,” Musemakweli said.
Also in a related development, the RDF COP activities were taken to Ruhango, Huye and Kayonza districts.
In Huye district they planted vegetables in Ruhoboba marshlands as starting point for the programme which will see three bridges connecting Simbi and Maraba villages; and complete construction of Nyakagezi health post and construct 578 houses for vulnerable citizens.
In Ruhango districts RDF and the community prepared six hectares of terraces to control rising loss of arable land to erosion and reclaim more farmland for community.
In other activities, RDF will revamp 42 hectares of banana plantations, putting to use 90 hectares of idle farmland, construction of 120 for needy citizens, 512 latrines.
While in Kayonza RDF and citizens worked together to control banana wilt disease on a half hectare on a farm belonging to a vulnerable citizen of Nyawera cell, Mwili sector.