NGOZI March 9th (ABP) – The Agriculture Sector Development Project (PRODEFI) held a workshop on evaluation and planning of activities carried out in Ngozi province (north) on Thursday, a check by ABP revealed.

In his opening speech, the governor of Ngozi province said he is satisfied with the achievements of PRODEFI which, according to that person in authority, are really visible on the field and have contributed to the improvement of the living conditions of the people. The aim was to discuss the activities carried out in 2018 as part of PRODEFI I and II and to plan the activities that will be carried out in the first half of 2019 with an amount of 1,310,502,193 BIF.

Among the achievements, PRODEFI built harvest storage sheds, distributed rice, beans and banana seeds and supported for the construction of rice processing plants in Gashikanwa, banana processing plant in Busiga, maize and tomato processing plants in Ngozi.  PRODEFI rehabilitated 4 marshes and developed 400 hectares (ha) at Nyamuswaga and contributed for the protection of the environment, repopulation of the livestock by distributing 297 cows of Frisian breed and 11 bulls. 2779 pigs were also distributed and 2701 cows were artificially inseminated.

To its credit, it should be noted that there has been a significant increase in production of milk, hybrid maize, rice and bananas.

In 2019, it is planned to open new milk collection centers, equipment at Rukeco and Ruhororo centers, monitoring the construction and equipment of processing plants, environmental protection and rehabilitation of marshes and rural tracks, sustainability and appropriation workshops, distribution of selected seeds of rice, hybrid maize, soy and vegetables. It will focus on monitoring farmers, support for 19 solidarity surety groups, 5 youth roundtables, a youth business plan competition and financial support for 20 young entrepreneurs.

Mr. David Niyongabo, coordinator of PRODEFI in Ngozi and Kayanza provinces, identifies a number of constraints that hinder the successful completion of activities. They relate to the maintenance of infrastructures built in the context of environmental protection, the theft of inputs and especially mineral fertilizers as well as the theft and illegal sale of cows distributed by PRODEFI. He also notes poor supervision of farmers.

According to Mr. Niyongabo, lamentations from cow raisers exist especially with regard to the flow of milk. Indeed, farmers who sell their production in collection centers initiated by PRODEFI say prices remain very low compared to private collectors, hence Mr. Niyongabo asks the administration to intervene to find a solution to the problem  and disorder observed in that sector. It is worth noting that this workshop was attended by communal administrators, agricultural and veterinary technicians and milk collection center managers.

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