Xavier Burindwi, a resident of Kibeho Sector in Nyaruguru District, joined JYAMBERE MUHINZI Kibeho, a maize-growing cooperative, in 2018, where he started benefiting from Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) technical support.
According to Burindwi, before joining FtMA, he grew maize and Irish potatoes through traditional practices where farming activities were for home consumption only. Since Burindwi joined FtMA, he has been empowered in Good Agricultural Practice, including improved seeds, planting techniques, and proper use of organic and inorganic fertilizers by respecting distancing measures, which led to the increase of maize yield.
“I plowed 18 Acres and got 29 kgs per Acre which was a total of 522 kgs from my land. After being trained in Good Agricultural practices and Post-Harvest Handling and Storage techniques, my harvest boosted to 47 kgs per Acre which means that I now get 846 kgs of maize from the same land”, he pointed out.
As Burindwi said, FtMA enabled him to reduce and mitigate losses. “I am trained to harvest maize appropriately as well as to store my produce to maintain its quality properly,” he added. Indeed, FtMA equipped Burindwi with equipment to use for harvesting, drying, and storing purposes. “With FtMA subsidiary, I managed to buy six plastic bags and two tarpaulins to maintain good quality produce,” he revealed.
Today, Burindwi can get enough food for his family, selling the surplus to FtMA buyers. From 2018 when his cooperative joined FtMA, Burindwi gets at least 200,000Frw of profits per season. The money Burindwi receives as profit solves his household’s needs like feeding the family, buying health insurance and material for kids, paying school fees, clothing the family, and purchasing other household equipment.
In addition, Burindwi bought a cow at 150,000Frw from the money he got from selling maize. This cow gave birth to 2 carves sold for 280,000Frw; the income from milk production is estimated at 145,000Frw. “I always have enough milk for the family consumption and the market and enough organic fertilizers to use in the farming activities,” he said.
Burindwi’s future endeavor is to build a modern house near the main road.
World Food Programme (WFP) initiated the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) in 2016 to promote the sustainable pro-smallholder agricultural value chain of maize and beans, intending to increase smallholder’s income and foster commercial viability for private sector actors engaged in the Alliance.