Twenty years ago 94% of Rwanda’s citizen were farmers and used traditional agriculture. At that time the population of Rwanda was below 6 million on 26,338km2. The research done in 2016 by the National Institute of Statistics showed that the population of Rwanda reached 11,917,508 but the growth rate was 2.45% and farmers still had to satisfy the needs of foods in different communities. Because of low skills they weren’t aware of agriculture methods that can conserve nature and sustain soil fertility. This was a result of ignorance as the farmers who were using synthetic fertiliser and pesticides this cause soil toxicity. The soils become acid. In the past five years the price of Irish potatoes in Rwanda have gone from 40 rwf (Rwandan Francs) to 150-350rwf. What might it be in 2050 if scientists continue to take this approach?
My research shows how we can use other methods to restore this degraded soil by using lime (Cao) mixed with other organic fertilisers like chicken wastage, decomposed human faeces, that are rich in nitrogen and potassium. This would neutralise acidic soil in order to let this soil again produce good yields.
The process I will use is to create a conservation company that will produce organic fertiliser made from lime, human faeces and animal waste. Lime is available in many area of Rwanda especially in the northern region in Musanze district. Human faeces is very cheap and available in decomposed latrines. Animal waste is available from different farms especial poultry farms.
The second service this company will offer is to train farmers on organic fertiliser production; this company will give employment to many people. As an example, I took two area of 10 m2 using the same seed of Irish potatoes. In one area I used chemical fertilisers during planting and in the other area used small chemical fertiliser and mix it with organic fertiliser. The yield was totally different. The one with chemical fertiliser produced 28kg and the other mixed with the fertiliser produced 75kg. I did this more than once and concluded that this fertiliser will help the farmers to restore their degraded soil.
In brief this company will be valuable for the income generation to many farmers in Rwanda and east Africa because it will expand beneficially from the input to output.
For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be an impact of change in agriculture because I was born in a rural area in a family of farmers. This stimulated me to continue my career in agriculture because I practiced it from my childhood. I got the opportunity to study agriculture in university because I believed that to pursue my studies on agriculture will contribute for my future plan of raising the living standards of young people in rural areas. My love for this gave me the chance to attend an FAO international conference and the African Green Revolution Forum as a voice of agribusiness youth of Rwanda. I got this opportunity due to this project I presented and still know many rural farmer who take me as youth role model in agriculture. Unfortunately the capital to implement this is still a big challenge. My dreams will never cease because I believe one day I will get financial support and will contribute to solve the problems of agriculture in Africa. The chance to attend this summit will contribute enormously to my future goals and career because I need to deepen and develop my knowledge.
The beneficiaries for this project are so many. First I will improve my life by creating business and will provide jobs to the unemployed. In start up, I expect to give more than ten people jobs and this will continue to grow. Secondly farmers will get the fertiliser that will help them to raise their yield the. Thirdly I will have made a new product that will give taxes to the Country. Fourthly there will be a contribution to soil conservation. This is because these fertilisers will restore soil by removing acidity. As we know when PH increases acid decreases. And finally I will give training to rural farmers in lime application and how it can contribute to restoring degraded soil.
In this summit, I expect to get skills that provide technical assistance; I will contribute to respond to the specified derivable and goals of agriculture with interacting with expert will be an opportunity that would contribute enormously to my future career plans.
Ndayisaba Faida Justin, Rwanda