African Great Lakes 

Farmer Field School’s Activities during COVID-19 Period

Food Security through Conservation Agriculture

by Theophile UWIRINGIYIMANA
Transformational Leadership Center, Gicumbi District

The Farmer Field School groups normally operate every day and every week when farmers gather on the leased plots to learn by doing.  Since March 2020, however, the Rwandan government decided to lock down all the activities and mandate quarantine. There was a loss of many things as many activities were locked down, but the agriculture sector continued to operate as usual because it was the beginning of the growing season B 2020.  This pushed the government of Rwanda to allow farmers to continue with their farming activities even though there was some challenges that farmers and agronomist faced in order to maintain their essential duties. 

This is DUKORE group located in Kibali Cell, Byumba Sector in Gicumbi district. There are currently meetings where they do Savings and CA activities every Friday. They planted Maize and will be harvesting it at the end of July or beginning of August 2020.  

The pictures on the left shows the FFS Group called IMBERE HEZA while they are making savings after CA activities. The picture on the right shows Mr. Brian NEZA while he was locating FFS plots in Gicumbi by using GPS for future use to make a FFS plots map. This work has been done in June 2020 and some more details will be given in the coming monthly report of June. This group has planted Irish Potatoes and in the second or third week of July 2020 they will be harvesting. 

The pictures above show plots for two different FFS groups. The one with Maize belongs to the ABAKUNDUMURIMO Groups and the one with Irish Potatoes is EJO HEZA’s group. The group that planted Irish Potatoes will harvest in July and the one with Maize will harvest in August. Both groups are located in Rukomo Sector, Munyinya Cell, Gicumbi District. 

The DUKOMEZUMUGAMBI 2 group is growing beans and is located in Byumba Sector, Nyarutarama Cell . They will harvest the beans in July. 

The Field Staff and project coordinator continue to visit spontaneous adopters and individual farmer as customary.  We thank God for everything and hope that very soon farmers will be enjoying their produce even though climate change might cause a reduction of produce in the current season compared to the previous season.