Some residents in Gishwati have called for the Government through Agricultural Ministry to reconsider and make them terraces so that they practice crop farming to support livestock activities which cannot be enough for their survival amid low prices of milk
Residents of Gishwati who solely live on animal products say that a liter of local brew is more important that a liter of milk to them as milk costs Rwf100 yet the local brew is Rwf300.
Denying them from doing crop farming is denying them a right to live the life they desire as most of them were surviving on both aspects of farming which supported each other concurrently and they were happy. This is going to affect most of them especially those with big families who cannot depend on their milk production to feed their families.
Some of the residents explained that it is hard to get enough milk to sell and be able to buy enough food for their families’ survival considering the price of milk with no stable market in the area.
Example of the terraces people need for crop cultivation
More than 1000 families were made to remain in Gishwati area and this area was decided it is conducive for livestock farming and some people were made to focus on crop farming and others livestock farming in different areas. Though residents are not against this policy, those who were made to do livestock farming want to be given terraces just like their counterparts and do both types of farming.
This idea is not only shared by residents but also Jean Sebikari the executive secretary of Kanama sector where these residents reside said that this is possible for people top rear animals and at the same time grow crops and be able to educate their children.
Contrary to other local people needs who usually decry electricity and other infrastructure services, residents of Gishwati decry like of markets as to get to the nearby market, they walk more than 3 hours journey.
Residents say that they are far away from development compared to other Rwandan communities where even their leaders don’t visit them especially from the district to show them and include them in development programs.