Eric Masengesho: An FtMA made millionaire in Wisigara Cooperative
Eric Masengesho, a member of Wisigara Nsinda Cooperative in the Muhazi Sector, Rwamagana district, emerged out of poverty during the last two years and today owns a house and a plot that have the value of 15,000,000Rwf as a result of interventions made by Farmer to Market Alliance-FtMA program led by World Food Program-WFP.
In 2018, Masengesho could only harvest 30kgs of maize, 15kgs of beans, and 12kgs of cassava on a hired land of a half hectare. As he said, he was ashamed to see his neighbors who were members of the Wisigara Nsinda cooperative harvesting so much produce. Thus, the same year, he decided to become a member of the cooperative and accepted to pay the membership fees of 55.000RwF into installment as he was not able to immediately pay such amount. Wisigara, benefited of the Good Agriculture Practices and post-harvesting handling, storage, training and marketing skills, through FtMA project which helped Masengesho to realize his dream. “I can assure you that I was the best to be open-minded among the cooperative members and benefit from this FtMA assistance in the best way,” he confidently explained.
In the season of 2019A, Masengesho harvested 2.5 metric tons (MT) from a half hectare when he started putting into practices the new farming practices to increase production and income. The knowledge he gained included; proper land preparation, use of manure, and fertilizer application, use of improved seeds, proper spacing, reducing post-harvest losses, improving the quality of maize grains meeting buyers requirement, thus accessing higher prices on the market. “That is how I managed to buy a plot and started building my own house with 450,000Frw I earned from my production at the end of the season of 2019A”, he revealed.
Season by season, Masengesho is working with the objective to increase his productivity to 6MT per hectare. The money he obtained from maize produce was used to finalize the construction of his house. “Right now, I have equipped my house and installed the solar energy system with a total value of 529,000Frw”, he mentioned and added that he plans to buy his own land of one hectare and equip it with irrigation facilities.
Eric Masengesho is a 27 years old man, married and father of one child.