POWER supported woman crowned the best farmer in the sector
Uwimana Immaculée is a 37 year rural woman farmer who lives in Nyanza district, Mukingo Sector, Mpanga cell, Nkinda village. She is married to Nizeyimana Sebastien with whom they have 6 children. Uwimana Immaculee is a primary six graduate who practices agriculture as the main source of food and income for the family.
Recently, this mother of six was crowned an excellent farmer in Mukingo sector, the trophy she attributed to trainings on sustainable agriculture practices that she received from the five years Promoting Opportunities for Women Empowerment and Rights (POWER) project.
Before POWER project the family has been using traditional farming methods which produced neither enough food for the family nor income. Uwimana together with her family suffered food shortage for a long time; their plot of land has become infertile which forced Uwimana and her husband to move around cultivating for neighbors in order to provide for the family needs. This situation hampered family development until 2016 when Uwimana was elected as POWER Project group facilitator.
Being the group representative, Uwimana received trainings on sustainable agriculture methodologies. Uwimana started practicing these methodologies on their small plot of land and train group members the same techniques, and she was elected by Mukingo sector as the best farmer beating 49 people who practice sustainable agriculture. Uwimana drove home a bicycle as a prize for her agriculture performance.
“I was so much astonished when they selected me as the best performer in the sector, imagine a person who has been starving due to insufficient food not even recognized by my village leader but now I am known in the whole sector. People were laughing at me when I started practicing sustainable agriculture but after first harvest, they realized how much the practice is so productive in terms of quantity of production, soil protection and climate resilience.” Uwimana said, adding that she will be using the bicycle to ease transport training the community on sustainable agriculture and to transport her production to the market.
Since she started working with POWER project, the production increased significantly to provide for family consumption and for market to cater for other family expenses like medical insurance which was difficult to get previously.
Due to enough harvest, the family started saving some money to sector micro finance institution (SACCO) from which they got loan to refurbish house. These changes were realized by neighbors and started learning sustainable agriculture methodologies which are among factors that the sector based on while selecting competitors.
Members of Aboroshya group, a group in which Uwimana belongs surprised sector leaders and decided to give a plot of land of 2 hectares to the group and it is using the land to grow maize.
POWER is a five years women empowerment and rights project which is being implemented in Nyanza, Nyaruguru, and Musanze district by Faith Victory Association (FVA) in partnership with Action Aid Rwanda (AAR) on the Netherland Embassy Funds.