Nyaruguru: Women coffee farmers trained to make organic fertilizers to increase yields

On 28 November 2021 at 01:00

Women coffee farmers from Rusenge sector, Nyaruguru district in Southern Province who have been receiving training on best techniques to make compost and foliar plant spray have expressed optimism that it will pave the way for increased produce from three to seven kilograms per coffee tree.

Beneficiaries of the training organized by Sustainable Growers Rwanda are from Nyampinga Cooperative comprised of 1163 members involved in coffee growing and processing based in Jari village, Bunge cell.

The cooperative is composed of different groups each with 15 members. The training started with farmer promoters who will also share acquired skills with all colleagues.

Farmer promoters are model farmers whose agricultural yields are comparatively higher owing to improved agricultural practices.

Such farmers facilitate the extension of best practices and skills to other farmers to improve yields.

Sustainable Growers is an organization committed to increase economic opportunities for women and their families through coffee farming.

Fabien Twahirwa, a coffee agronomist working with Sustainable Growers has told IGIHE that they have been helping women and families to grow their income with the latest training being part of other kinds of support extended to farmers.

“The training will help them address the shortage of organic fertilizers to increase agricultural yields,” he said.

“We are currently working with Nyampinga Cooperative which has 1163 members. These are women from different families who will share acquired skills with other members of the community to increase yields,“ added Twahirwa.

Ruben Borge, a Spanish trainer said that the coffee farmers were equipped with relevant skills to make compost and liquid fertilizer.

The compost manure is comprised of a mix of dry and fresh decomposable grasses, mixed with soil, coffee residues, charcoal, ash, and other catalysts including water, sugar or sugar cane leftovers.

The foliar spray fertilizer is composed of cow dung, water, milk, sugar blended with catalysts, ash, ground black stones and microbes.

“The compost makes the land more productive and helps to increase yields while the foliar plant spray ensures smooth growth of leaves. It also serves as a pesticide to destroy insects,” he said.

He told trainees that the two types also contribute a lot to coffee’s quality and great taste.

Trainees explained that acquired skills will help them turn their land more productive and increase yields.

“I am a farmer promoter among coffee growers but the produce is still low. I will train fellow farmers so that everyone will be able to make own compost to increase yields for coffee and other crops,” said Odette Mukakayiro.

“Farmers in my group harvest between two and three kilograms of coffee per tree. We are optimistic that the compost will help us to increase the produce to six or seven kilograms,” she added.

Epihanie Dusabe, another training beneficiary also emphasized that acquired skills will undoubtedly help farmers to improve yields.

Esther Mukangango, the president of Nyampinga Cooperative urged trainees to put acquired skills to good use.

“We need to remain consistent and put into practice what we have learnt to multiply coffee produce, improve its quality and become excellent growers,” she said.

The training held from 14th to 25th November 2021 was also extended to farmers in other districts covered by Sustainable Growers interventions.

At least 63 farmer promoters from cooperatives working with Sustainable Growers received the training.

They are expected to train more 5000 farmers working with the organization.

Other trainees include farmers from other agriculture related projects including Agriterra , Impexcol and Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB).

Sustainable Growers works with six cooperatives of coffee farmers in six districts.

These include Nyampinga in Nyaruguru, Gashonga in Rusizi, KOAKAA in Nyamasheke, Twongere Umusaruro wa Kawa in Kayonza, Mayogi in Gicumbi and Abahingakawa in Gakenke district.

The training was organized by Sustainable Growers Rwanda in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and Centre for the promotion of Imports from Developing countries (CBI) from the Netherlands.

Farmers have been also equipped with skills to make foliar plant spray.
Farmers following presentations during the training.
Ruben Borge, a Spanish trainer said that the coffee farmers were equipped with relevant skills to make compost and liquid fertilizer.
Coffee farmers also trained in making compost.