MR Aron Rwatirera (58 years) joined Rupangwana irrigation schemes in 2011 and started growing vegetables, maize and beans. However, the scheme faced frequent water pump breakdowns and subsequently often have water shortages at the critical times of production. The final blow came in 2016 when the transformer broke down and for three years the irrigation scheme was non-functional. In 2018 SIRP in partnership with the government came to their rescue and restored the transformer, rehabilitated the canals and pump stations
Mr Rwatirera highlighted that he had learnt a lot from the SIRP programme.
“Through the program we were educated on how to take care of our infrastructure, how to store and market our produce and farm as a business. These were things we used to neglect. I didn’t know that when you grow crops you needed to have a budget and keep records input usage, planting date, harvests and sales and calculate the profit”.
He further highlighted that with the rehabilitated infrastructure pump breakdown are a story of the past and with the new canal water leakages have been reduced. From his 0.1ha plot he harvested 50 buckets of tomatoes which he sold to the local community for cash or barter traded them for grain and manure. In addition, he harvested 250kg of maize which we consumed. Using the proceeds from the plot he managed to buy some building materials to finish constructing his house.
“SIRP has changed my life from an ordinary poor villager to someone who is economically enabled. In the past I used to produce food for home consumption and had little surplus to sell. But this time around I had surplus maize to sale to other villagers. I can foresee a bright future, with expansion of the irrigation scheme, I will now have a bigger portion to grow more crops, harvest more and make more money”.