Rwanda, Africa: Crops Added to City Master Plan, 40,000 Take to Urban Farming
The master plan of the city envisages farming spaces where each residential plot must allocate at least 20% of the surface to farming activities.
By Eric Didier Karinganire
25 Dec. 2012
Two years ago, Valerie Mukabaramba turned to growing crops in a marshland in her neighborhood of Gisozi in Kigali City’s Gasabo district. She had been a hawker around the city for several years but life became increasingly tough for this mother of four.
She now grows sweet potatoes, maize and vegetables as the only source of food for family and income for other basic needs. “I have no other skills, yet hawking in the city is very risky. But I’m able to survive and get basic needs through farming,” she said in a recent interview.
Mukabaramba does individual cultivation but also belongs to a cooperative that grows maize and beans in the same marshland. Last season, she earned Frw about 80,000 from maize and beans. “I wouldn’t say that I’m in very good conditions, but at least I can get the basics from my field,” she points out.
This is the story of an estimated 40,000 city dwellers who have taken to urban farming in Kigali City. Mukabaramba shares the same experience with her over 130 colleagues who belong to a cooperative that grows maize and beans in Gisozi.
Innocent Ndereyimana, another urban famer, says he never buys vegetables from market as he is able to grow his own on his plot in Nyanza of Gatenga sector, Kicukiro district.