Farmers who are part of a cooperative in Rutsiro District are reporting harvests of about two tons of strawberries per week, significantly driving up their earnings.
Claude Izimenyera, the president of Koabunya-Twitezimbere, said they ventured into the business in 2017 in Nyabirasi sector: “We were previously growing other crops but later we decided to shift to strawberry and tree tomatoes. We have started to harvest strawberries but are yet to harvest tree tomatoes.”
The cooperative grows strawberry on 20 hectares with 449 members of which 189 are women while tree tomatoes are on two hectares.
“We harvest between one and two tons of strawberries per week as we harvest twice a week with a kilogramme selling at Rwf1,000,” he said. This means that the cooperative amasses between Rwf1 million and Rwf2 million every week.
“We started with Rwf5 million investment and with the profits we have bought other properties worth Rwf10 million. We bought forest plantations worth Rwf3.5 million and other pieces of land,” Izimenyera told newtimes.co.rw.
The farmers are part of 200,000 farmers benefiting from increased yields under the support of Rwanda Agriculture Board in partnership with Hinga Weze-USAID project. The farmers used to lose 30 per cent of their harvest due to poor post-harvest handling techniques.
[ Rwf100 = €0,096 ]