Farm to Market Alliance successful and best practices in Huye, Gisagara & Nyaruguru
Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) project is funded by World Food Program to promote the establishment of sustainable pro-smallholder agricultural value chain with the aim of increasing smallholder farmers’ income and foster commercial viability for the private sector actors engaged in the Alliance. The project is implemented by RWARRI in 8 districts (Ngoma, Rwamagana, Gakenke, Rulindo, Burera, Huye, Gisagara, Nyaruguru & Nyamagabe) in the season of 2020A.
A lot has been achieved in 2020 among others the capacity building of 18,752 farmers in good agriculture practices; capacity building of 10,638 farmers on post-harvest handling and storage; sales and delivery of 4.463 Mt from which 4,178 Mt was delivered to the formal market generating an income of 1,266,720,446 Rwf with an average income of 63,339 Rwf per farmer and the distribution of 280 Silos and 450 tarpaulins.
Today, the focus is on Huye, Gisagara and Nyaruguru districts successful and best practices.
Increase participation of farmers in aggregation and delivery activities in Icyerekezo Simbi cooperative
ICYEREKEZO SIMBI is located in Huye district, Isimbi sector, Kabusanza Cell with 273 farmers of which 147 are females. The cooperative grew maize in 2020A in a consolidated area of 30 hectares in the marchland of Ruhoboba. The cooperative was legally registered in January 2010 and since then it has been led by one executive committee until October 2019. Meaning the cooperative has been led by the same Board of directors for more than 9years which is not recommended by RCA regulations. This has discouraged cooperatives members, reduced their participation in the cooperative activities among others cooperatives meetings, aggregation and delivery activities, contribution to the membership fees, etc. in 2019A, this cooperative only managed to sell 9.7 Mt to the formal market because farmers were not motivated at all and only 40% of its members contributed to this quantity. The rest was sold to middlemen or other unformal markets leaving the farmer with little margin.
It is through strong mobilization; RWARRI field officer in Huye district, in collaboration with the local authorities, managed to help the cooperatives to elect a new committee. With the trust increased 83% of cooperative members aggregated and delivered 40 Mt to the formal market (EAX and AMASIMBI factory). There is hope to see more farmers aggregating and delivering through the cooperatives because the trust in the committee has increased.
Cooperative leaders in Huye district mobilized to use smart telephones
In Huye district, the project is assisting 12 cooperatives that grew maize and beans. It is in December 2019, the field officer in Huye, Misago Paulin came with an idea to mobilize cooperative leaders to buy telephones for the cooperatives. The telephone will belong to the cooperative so that in case the president is not present or is replaced, the cooperatives keep the same number. But also it was a way to mobilize cooperatives to go with the development technology where he specifically requested them to buy a smart telephone to create a Whatsapp platform on which cooperatives’ leaders with Horeco staff, sector agronomist and of course RWARRI field officers share information but also as a way to exchange ideas between cooperatives and learn from each other. So far only 3 cooperatives (Tuzamurane Ruvungirana, Koagimpa & Tuzamurane Tumba) out of 12 supported cooperatives have managed to buy the telephone. The mobilization is ongoing to mobilize more cooperatives to buy smart telephones.
1,615 farmers mobilized to open accounts during the covid-19 lockdown to get their payment in Nyaruguru district
The aggregation and delivery of maize in 2020A happened during the lockdown of COVID 19 (February and May 2020). During that period it was restricted to withdraw more than 1 million per person or organization unless to transfer the money account to account. And farmers were delivering their maize produce through the cooperatives expecting to be paid and it was in a critical period when people needed money. But the cooperative couldn’t satisfy all the farmers because they were limited on the amount of money to withdraw. It is in that context, the field officer in Nyaruguru district, Loicy Niyonsega took the initiative to mobilize farmers to open a personal account so that they are paid on those accounts and ensure every farmer receives its money after delivery. 1615 farmers from 2 cooperatives (Abishyizehamwe Urwonjya & COAMMI) managed to open an account and was paid on those accounts.
Cooperatives in Gisagara district became agro-dealers to solve the problem of seeds delay
It has been observed in past years that the problem of seeds remains a big challenge for farmers because of its availability and delays. When they came on time they get to finish without being supplied to all farmers and they have to wait for another stock which affects farmers’ activities. After the bad experience, the field officer in Gisagara district, Nkurikiyimana Francois mobilized farmers’ cooperatives to become agro-dealers to resolve the issue of seeds delay. So far 4 cooperatives (Koabirwiki, Korwamuki, Nyamarico, & Coamanya Gishubi) in Gisagara are agro-dealers.
Cooperatives in Gisagara district mobilized to hire accountants
In Partnership with RIAS/Rabo Bank, FtMA project has built the capacity of 80 cooperatives in cooperative management and financial management. The field officer in Gisagara district, Francois Nkurikiyimana highly convinced by the training, took the initiative to assist in the implementation of RIAS training. He kept advising and mobilizing cooperatives to hire an accountant to assist them in their daily financial report and as result, 5 cooperatives (Kaimu, Coamagi, Coamanya Gishubi, CCM Muganza & Korwamuki) out of 17 supported cooperatives managed to hire one.