Source: The NewTimes
The government has said that the high cost of irrigation, land fragmentation as well as encroachment of land designated for farming activities by construction projects, have hindered irrigation targets, calling for a review.
The revelations was made last week as officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources met parliamentarians
MP Albert Ruhakana said that in the 2017/2018 fiscal year, the target was to irrigate 100,000 hectares of farmland, which he said was overambitious.
According to figures from the ministry, only 50,000 hectares are currently catered for by irrigation schemes countrywide.
“The target of 2024 is to irrigate 102,000 hectares. Why is the expectation of 2017 targeted to be realised in 2024? We should analyse the issue to exactly know the challenges that slowed the progress to achieve the target in 2017,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Jean Claude Musabyimana, said that the country’s irrigation master plan is being revised because of many reasons.
The master plan, he said, shows that Rwanda has national irrigation potential of nearly 600, 000ha.
The master plan was designed to deal with challenges related to drought.
“As there was no major irrigation scheme roll-out programme in the country, to which we could refer to know the exact funds that it would require compared to how much we could get, available techniques, as well as linking the irrigation requirements and the state of settlement, there were irrigation activities which were theoretically considered practical,” he said.