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GEWEP II Interventions are Making Great Impact on Woman Farmers in the Southern Province.

MUKASINE Celineis married to NSANZUMUHIRE Elie. She lives with her family (her husband and 4 kids) ina rural area in Kamonyi District, Gacurabwenge Sector where many families make a living by farming activities. Day after day, Celine works very hard in her fruit field, but she is not producing enough crops due to a lack of skills. She only knew how to farm, to produce fruits for her kids and neighbors but she lacked the skills to produce crops on a large scale.

Then Celine took a brave step that changed her harvests for the better : she joined a community farmers group supported by AEE Rwanda, which implements Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Projects in the Southern province, aimed at promoting women economic empowerment.

In this group, farmers were trained in new agriculture techniques to help them increase their crop yields. Celine was surprised to learn that the chemical fertilizers and pesticides that many of the farmers were using could damage the land and makes it even more difficult to produce healthy fruits.

Celine also learned about environmentally-friendly agriculture practices, such as composting, seed preservation, and the use of organic pesticides. By using organic fertilizer instead of chemical fertilizers, she could help increase the fertility of the soil. She also realized what a difference it would make for her family’s nutrition if she could grow her own nutritious fruits and vegetables that they could incorporate into their diet.

Agricultural training equipped Celine to see new ways forward for the farmers in her community. With great excitement, she started to put what she had learned into practice with the help of her husband, who was glad to help with this new endeavor. On her small plot of land of less than 20 acres, she improved fruit farming (oranges, papayas, mangoes)a project that brings her 300,000 RWF per harvests due to improved agricultural techniques and business knowledge gained from the GEWEP II interventions.

MukasineCeline in her fruit garden, KamonyiDistict, Gacurabwenge Sector.

At first, many of the farmers in Celine’s community were skeptical about the new agricultural methods she was using. Could these changes really help them improve their harvests ? But Celine was confident in her practices and passionate about sharing what she had learned with other farmers. So she invited farmers to come and visit her garden and see her success. When these farmers saw proof of Celine’s success, they were also inspired to try these new, environmentally-friendly methods for themselves.

Today, Celine continues to thrive and she is a strong leader in her community. She even employs 3 temporary employees in her own garden and provides fruit seeds in her neighborhood. As one of the trained peer farmers in her community, she finds great joy in training and mobilizing new farmers in techniques that help give them enough nutritious food for their families.

Mrs. Celine also mentioned that the government and partners should support her and other farmers to become better agricultural professionals, through addressing the issue of capital and climate change effects.

“By applying what I learned through GEWEP II programs, I became a successful farmer,” said Celine. “I believe and hope that all local farmers will apply these new techniques and the best practices in their own gardens