Farmers’ Day means celebrating gains in the sector achieved through implementing various programmes such as addressing food insecurity, increasing productivity of arable land and rolling out farmers’ insurance.
Among the activities to mark the day included: crops exhibition, prize giving and Farmers’ Gala Night among others.
Dr. Olivier Kamana, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry of Agriculture welcomed the initiative while presiding over the Farmers Gala Night held on the eve of Farmers Day at Lemigo Hotel in Kigali.
Dr. Kamana pledged to hold the event every year, stressing that it will become more vibrant with time.
“We are here to celebrate several achievements in agriculture as a country such as the farmers’ insurance, revamping food security efforts, and count on the ministry for future similar celebrations,” Dr. Kamana observed during the first ever Farmers’ Day celebrations in the country.
National celebrations of the Farmers’ Day that attracted the best performing farmers from across the country, government officials, partners took place in Nyamirama in Kayonza District, July 14.
The event celebrated for the first time was organised by Rwanda Development Organisation (RDO) with the support of the World Food Programme (WFP), BRALIRWA, BK Insurance, Africa Improved Foods (AIF) and RWARRI among others.
Egide Rugamba, member of RDO’s Board of Directors said that recognition of farmers is a noble practice that should continue, and pledged to support the youth singers from Rwanda’s farming society. He appreciated RDO for the idea of celebrating Farmers’ Day.
“Thanks for recognizing the farmers. Life is sustained by the farmers so appreciating their efforts is commendable,” said Rugamba.
“As RDO, we pledge to support the singers who have packaged critical messages about the significance of Agriculture, farmers’ efforts as well as role of RDO in capacity building and financial support,” added Rugamba.
Eugene Rwibasira, the Executive Secretary of RDO revealed that Agriculture’s contribution to the country’s GDP was on the rise and hit 31% as well as its impact in transforming livelihoods of particularly the farmers.
“Today we celebrate increasing contribution of the sector and its role in reducing poverty levels,” said Rwibasira.
“We shall help the farmers overcome other challenges along the journey of ensuring systemic transformation,” he added.
Rwibasira reiterated RDO’s appreciation to the development partners for supporting the farmers.
He said next time the event will be bigger and may need to use the national stadium to have as many farmers as possible participate.
BK Insurance as part of the celebrations in Kayonza District awarded 30 farmers who have demonstrated commitment in using the best practices in modern farming.
“BK Insurance has given out farm tools including spraying machines in prizes to 30 exemplary farmers for successfully practicing modern farming,” said Alex Bahizi, the CEO at BK Insurance.
“It is an absolute pleasure to be among food systems’ most important stakeholders –farmers,” said Muhammad Ibrahim, the Programme Officer of WFP at Farmers Gala Night.
Ibrahim extended gratitude to Rwanda Development Organisation for the event.
“Thanks to RDO for organizing this event,” he added.
The Farmers Day at Kayonza attracted farmers, district officials, ministry of agriculture and different stakeholders across agriculture value chain.
The day featured a mini exhibition by farmers showcasing best agricultural practices and farmers celebrated with songs, dance, also were entertained by Intore Tuyisenge, a local popular singer.