Africa > East Africa > Rwanda > Rwanda plans to introduce a new mobile phone technology / waste water

Rwanda: Rwanda plans to introduce a new mobile phone technology / waste water

2014/03/20

Rwanda plans to introduce a new mobile phone technology that will use treated waste water from purification stations across all 30 districts of the country, to irrigate plantations, according to the Rwandan Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Kalibata.

She said the water to be used on several hectares of plantations in marshland areas across the country would be treated in line with the country's agriculture policy to reduce poverty that is affecting small-scale farmers from remote rural areas.

Kalibata, who was addressing parliament on the current trends of agriculture innovation in the country, said the Rwandan government is currently emphasizing on the use of mobile phone to ensure that this technology could as well facilitate the irrigation master plan and hillside irrigation system.

'Currently, the government in partnership with the private sector is testing technology that allows farmers to use their mobile phones to remotely monitor and switch on irrigation pump sets in far flung locations,' she said.

Rwandan farmers are by presently using mobile phones to access agricultural data relevant to their activities in comparing market prices by the use this technology, she said.

Faced with poor rainfall in some remote rural areas, due in part to climate change, the tiny country has opted for crop irrigation techniques where the government will invest a proportion equivalent to 60% of the total investment against 40% of the remaining part that will be allocated by the private sector.

Kalibata said the scheme would be a large boost to farmers in Rwanda's eastern province, which faces chronic shortage of irrigation water forcing authorities to ration water.

The project would be implemented in collaboration with farmers under a arrangement with the private sector, she added.

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