Drought is a problem which makes the difference between a successful year ending and a possible year of turmoil. According to recent climate change statistics, Rwanda is facing the worst drought in 60 years. However, these local farmers in Rwanda have found a way to overcome this problem through the use of irrigation. This irrigation facility stands tall above crops in Matimba and Musheri sectors of Nyagatare District, it moves back and forth to water crops especially during drought in this Eastern Province’s drought prone area.
Farmers greatly suffer from drought which causes them to constantly harvest low yields. This irrigation technology is said to benefit over 1000 farmers who occupy about 900 hectares in Matimba and Musheri. The water used for irrigation is pumped from the Muvumba River and the water then feeds beneficiary farmers’ crops which include tomatoes and beans. The farmers use the wheeled irrigation to help counteract dry spells which run through June to September. The Muvumba Valley irrigation scheme consists of four types of irrigation: center pivot irrigation, drip irrigation, sprinklers and graviton; with all the systems being set up to manage the drought issues affecting the area, according to information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI).
The Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, advises farmers to make the most of irrigation schemes by growing high value crops such as green beans and tomatoes, which can earn them more revenue because irrigation is often expensive.
Figures show that about 45,000 hectares of arable land are irrigated, while the target is to irrigate 100,000 hectares by 2020.