Farmers specializing in crops agriculture in Bugesera District, which is in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, continue to demonstrate a strong commitment to improving their yields by effectively utilizing the available resources.
These farmers emphasize the importance of proper crop rotation to ensure high yields and to combat issues such as pests and diseases of Mealybugs(Utumatirizi).
They mention that the crop rotation technique, especially for their fruit trees, has yielded positive results, significantly increasing their crop production. However, they face challenges related to soil degradation over time, which affects the overall yield.
One of the farmers, highlights the issue of soil degradation due to various factors, such as the extensive cultivation of fruit trees. The constant removal of nutrients from the soil without replenishing them hampers the fertility of the land, making it essential to focus on sustainable practices.
Local residents are keen on maintaining a high level of agricultural productivity on their farms, and the Crop Rotation Project plays a vital role in achieving this goal.
On the other hand, Williams Shyaka, who has different types of fruit trees on about two hectares of land, surpasses the crop rotation period by only focusing on the annual cycle of fruit trees, particularly avocados, which can yield up to 15 tons.
Agronomist KABANDA Jean Damascene, responsible for this agricultural practice, explains that they have made significant progress in improving crop rotation. Starting from October 2022 until March 2023, they have incorporated a rotation plan involving 15 tons of compost.
The National Agriculture and Animal Resources Board (RAB), responsible for advancing agriculture and animal husbandry, is taking a prominent role in promoting crop rotation and protecting fruit trees. The initiative is set to continue for an additional two months. Farmers will be educated on the importance of proper crop rotation and guarding their fruit trees against diseases and pests, along with the correct use of compost.
An RAB researcher in charge of fighting plant diseases (Utumatirizi), Nkima Germain, states that this initiative will lead to increased yields and improved produce quality on the market. He highlights the significance of proper crop rotation and educating farmers on maintaining healthy soil.
This matter was emphasized by President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, during the closing ceremony of the National Dialogue in February 2023, where farmers were given a comprehensive response and support for their efforts in improving agriculture.
Mealybugs are a type of pest that can cause significant damage to various crops, affecting both the leaves and the fruit.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, these pests are commonly found on different plants, and they pose a considerable threat to agriculture.
Mealybugs are known to infest and spread from one plant to another, making it essential to monitor and control their population in fields, gardens, and other agricultural areas.
Once detected, effective pest management strategies are employed to mitigate the damage caused by mealybugs and to protect crops from their infestations.
Moreover, these pests are responsible for the spread of various diseases, further underscoring the importance of addressing the issue promptly to safeguard the health and yield of crops.