Farmers credit pyrethrum for changing their lives

By Alain Jules Hirwa
On 27 February 2020 at 03:20

Farmers of pyrethrum from the Northern Province in Musanze and Burera Districts say that the farming changed their lives, helping them build houses, purchase plots of land, and so on.

This was expressed on Wednesday February 26, 2020 when the Rwandan agri-tech company Horizon Sopyrwa awarded for the sixth time about 210 outstanding pyrethrum farmers. Among the prizes were 36 cows as the main awards, mattresses, rubber boots, and others, all of which were for recognizing their good work in making pyrethrum give a good produce.

Some of the farmers show pride in pyrethrum because from the moment they started farming pyrethrum, development visited their homes to stay.

Takuriya Noel Emmanuel said, “Those who don’t know the wealth pyrethrum are the ones who can speak negatively of them. Since the time I started growing them professionally, I have bought a plot of land of three hectares, in which I cultivate pyrethrum, I pay for myself Mutuelle de Santé” [a community-based health insurance], and no one of my children is in a poor school. I was awarded a cow. I will take care of it, always bearing in mind that I got it because of pyrethrum.”

Hategekimana Pierre Claver too had this to say, “I passionately do the farming of pyrethrum, since 2018. Now, I have bought a plot of land. In my family, we take a balanced diet. We live well because of pyrethrum. Something else, I have been given a cow. If I had never been farming pyrethrum, I wouldn’t be given it, and now I become a farmer because of pyrethrum.”

The General Manager of Horizon Sopyrwa, Bizimungu Gabriel said that this act of awarding farmers of pyrethrum plays the role of thanking them and inspiring other farmers to put into their farming a lot of work.

“Such an act of rewarding outstanding farmers of pyrethrum has an objective of thanking the courage they invest in the pyrethrum that end up giving a good produce. Also, it is to make other farmers jealous of the good work, inspiring them to have the courage to do good farming. More than that, this changes the mindsets of the farmers. Now, the awarded farmers harvest one tone from one hectare. We want all the farmers to develop such a mindset, or even a better one.”

The Director of Planning in Northern province Safi Desange asked farmers to keep promoting the cultivation of pyrethrum by joining cooperatives so as to join their efforts and so that such opportunities as the awards reach them.

After noticing the worth of pyrethrum, Horizon Sopyrwa founded AgroPY, an industry that extracts pesticides from pyrethrum.

Since the time this recognition started, 500 cows have been given. On this round of 2020, 61 cows were given to farmers from Musanze, Burera, Nyabihu, and Rubavu Districts. 40 of these were given by Horizon Sopyrwa, 10 by American partners of Horizon Sopyrwa who too manufacture pesticides from pyrethrum, and 11 which were given by past awardees as an act of giving back.