Vegetable farming in Rubvavu District in the Northern province of Rwanda is a lucrative activity that takes place in the area. Most vegetables produced in this district include carrots, cabbages, onions, egg plants, cauliflower among others. These are sold on the local markets and others across the border in DR Congo.
However, there are high post-harvest losses faced by both farmers and traders of the vegetables in the district. Upon realization of this challenge, the Good Food for Cities (GFC) Project implemented by Kilimo Trust has introduced new technologies to reduce the post-harvest handling issues and increase vegetables production.
A charcoal cooler which is one of the zero energy cooling chamber that is eco-friendly and a cost-effective post-harvest technology that uses natural cooling system that needs no electrical or mechanical energy to function has been constructed at Bazirete market in Rubavu District.
The installed charcoal cooler is going to be used to preserve vegetables and fruits traded at the market, hence reduce post-harvest losses that traders around that market have been facing.
Farmers have also been sensitized to produce nutritious and healthy foods to increase nutrition intake and reduce the stunting cases in the district. A demo plot of collard green (commonly known as sukumawiki) was established at COFAR cooperative. This vegetable is known for its high content in Vitamin A & C as well as fibers which aid in digestion and lowers the cholesterol levels in the body.
In efforts to promote regenerative farming practices, the project has also established some compost sites at KOTIBANYA cooperative to increase vegetable producer’s productivity as well as waste management. These composts are mostly made up of crop residues and vegetables wastes.