Twaguke-Murama is a female-based cooperative located in Gitaraga Cell, Murama sector in Ngoma district, comprising 47 members, 42 of whom are females. According to Uwintije Gorethe, the president of the coop, in 2022, Twaguke-Murama coop was supported by the Joint- Programme of Rural Women Economic Empowerment-JPRWEE through RWARRI and the Ministry of the Gender Promotion (MIGEPROF) to establish a solar-powered irrigation facility and radical terraces on their land of one hectare to boost agricultural production and able to produce in all seasons.
Uwintije praises the JP-RWEE project that allows the cooperative members to cultivate their land three times a year. “We easily grow vegetables, including tomatoes, green pepper, cabbage, eggplant, chili pepper, carrots, onions, and amaranth. “Apart from getting skills in irrigation operationalization, the productivity was also increased in quantity and quality as RWARRI trained the cooperative members on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) and post-harvest handling and storage (PHHS) too,” she explained. Thus, Uwintije acknowledges that the cooperative can easily get 1,200,000 Rwandan francs (Rwf) each season from unproductive land during the two seasons before the installation of the irrigation facility that can be exploited yearly. “All coop members are very thankful for having benefited from the JP-RWEE project’s support that enables them to gain around 3,600,000Rwf each year”, excitedly stated Uwintije.
On the other hand, Niyokwizerwa Chantal, a Twaguke-Murama cooperative member, expressed her positive experience with the installed solar-powered irrigation facility and the acquired skills. “My contribution to the well-being of my family is very significant today since we have different vegetables on our daily diet at home, and beyond that, I bring money at home from cooperative income sharing,” she added.
In addition, from the money she gets from the cooperative regularly, Niyokwizerwa managed to buy livestock, including three hens and two goats, and can yearly cover the family members’ health insurance (Mituelle de Sante) payments and purchase school kits for her kids.
Mukangendakumana Francoise is another member of Twaguke-Murama who takes advantage of the money she gets from the coop to fulfill the saving group membership obligations. “I bought a cow myself from the money I collected from the cooperative and the saving group, and my family can now enjoy milk and use the organic manure gotten from the cowshed to fertilize the family land,” she mentioned.
Twaguke-Murama cooperative is one of the four female-dominated cooperatives that were assisted in getting the solar-powered irrigation facilities and radical terraces under the Gender Climate Change and Agriculture Support Programme (GCCASP) initiated by AUDA-NEPAD through the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), the JP-RWEE, through World Food Programme (WFP) funded project that RWARRI implements interventions in Murama, Jarama, and Sake sectors of Ngoma District in Eastern Province of Rwanda.