Dorcas Consolation Family transforms Bugesera farmers’ lives

By Elina Jonas Ruzindaza
On 29 August 2020 at 08:02

Over 123 farmers from the Duterimbere Agricultural Group on the shores of Lake Cyohoha, Bugesera District, are enjoying the best harvest left thanks to the Dorcas Consolation Family (DCF).

DCF is a non-profit organization offering humanitarian assistance to the needy, the sick, and those facing other serious health problems. The family was founded by Kabanyana C. Keitsia in Rwanda around 2005.

In May 2018, DCF approached 123 farmers from Kamabuye Sector and 139 from Rweru Sector in Bugesera District, helping them set up irrigation, land consolidation, and capacity building, according to DCF Director, Habimana Olivier.

"DCF supports these farmers towards realizing timely and profitable farming," he says.

Habimana told IGIHE that the organization has received $ 25,000 in funding from the GEF Small Grants Program, a project under the auspices of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); and Bugesera District with a grant of Rwf15 million.

The two-year project was intended for both Rweru and Kamabuye groups.

According to Laure Kananura, coordinator of the GEF Small Grants Program, the grant was extended to help farmers till their land continuously even during dry periods. The project provided farmers with solar-powered systems. After seeing the productive activities of the farmers, Bugesera District also supported them.

Director of Agriculture and Natural resources of Bugesera District, Jean Damascene Sijyenibo, said they chose to advocate for the DCF because they saw a change.

Farmers appreciate it

Before the DCF’s help, members of the Duterimbere group said they used to do traditional agriculture and was difficult for them because while watering they used watering cans to serve big farm expanses.

A member of this group, Ahishakiye Venantie, said: “We used to use a watering can. Because I am old, I used to water in a small place and go back home. It was very frustrating and the yield was low. ”

Duterimbere Director Musabyimana Peninah also said that watering was difficult at first but now they have been provided with DCF technology to make it easier.

He also commended the Bugesera District administration for increasing its energy efficiency. “When we started working with DCF we used to grow on four hectares and now we have grown to 14 hectares,” he said.

The farmers testify that the return on investment per unit area has tremendously increased.

Emmanuel Uwimpuhwe, a member of this group, said: "Before we used to earn about Rwf100,000 from agriculture but now it is Rwf500, 000 and without difficulty."

Kananura finds that the fact that Bugesera District is pleased with what DCF has done in collaboration with GEF SGP / UNDP and its commitment to expand the project, is a matter of great pride. He finds that this partnership is important for the development of the community.

The DCF is also involved in other charitable activities such as paying health insurance for the needy where it has paid more than 10,000 since 2005, helping school dropouts to return to school, providing hygiene items to teenagers, among others.

DCF Director Habimana Olivier says they have chosen to help the community in developing their agriculture
Musabyimana Peninah says DCF has helped them renovate their farms
Onions are also among the vegetables they grow
Duterimbere members now grow tomatoes on a large area
Watering was difficult at first but now they have been provided with DCF technology to make it easier
With the help of their agricultural reforms, production has increased significantly
This is a dam built by DCF in Kamabuye