AGROFORESTRY; AGRICULTURE CORNERSTONE AND CRUCIAL WEAPON TO CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION
Agroforestry initiative in Rwanda has been going on for so long. As the years go by, the government and its partners are stepping up their efforts to promote agriculture and animal husbandry. And Agroforestry is a very effective program to deal with drought in some parts of Rwanda, especially in the East.
The Ministry of Environment in Rwanda says that over the past decade, the program has been intensified, with significant results, mainly based on the importance of these trees.
In an interview with the Communications Department of INGABO Syndicate, the Director General of Land, Forests and Water at the Ministry Marc MANYIFIKA said that the program has been instrumental in boosting agricultural and livestock production.
“Agroforestry is very helpful to farmers, as some serve in animal feeding, others help in the tilling of the soil, and there are also some that provide edible fruits. Since its inception, many farmers have practiced the plantation, and it has greatly improved the forest areas”
The Ministry of Environment also says that farmers in different parts of the country have come to understand the importance of these trees, and are keen to increase the size of their areas.
One of the parts of the country now to be focused on is Southern province, where Agroforestry is going to be escalated. In line with this government’s initiative, INGABO Syndicate as an organization committed to helping farmers increase productivity, starting in 2021A farming season, among 15 000 members and other farmers, at least every farmer-member will plant 10 trees in his or her field. Even now the work of starting to implement this project is in full swing. Victor MANARIYO, is an Agronomist at INGABO Syndicate; he states:
“We plan to have at least every farmer-member of the INGABO Syndicate benefiting in the program, so that by 2021A farming season, farmers will have started planting these trees. Tree nursery work is going on well”
Mr. MANARIYO also said that the purpose of INGABO Syndicate is to remind farmers the reason why agroforestry is essential to agriculture.
In addition to increasing agricultural and livestock productivity, and increasing the area under forest cover, Agroforestry is very helpful in soil degradation and erosion control, as well as climate change mitigation.