By Annonciata BYUKUSENGE
PRE-COP27 held in Rwanda focused on climate change as food security issue, economic issue, political issue, human rights issue and climate change affect agriculture. In order to cope with climate change and boost food security, Rwanda has introduced a program of having one Akarima k’Igikoni’ or Kitchen garden per family containing various vegetables and fruits; to fight for malnutrition among Rwandan people, women were engaged to run Kitchen garden.
After being trained by Corps Africa volunteers in Rwanda in smart climate agriculture practices including kitchen gardens which enable small holder farmers to plant a variety of resilient and nutritious crops to boost food security and improve productivity, Women from Southern Province Huye district, Ruhashya Sector and Mara cell, said that kitchen gardens have great importance in their living condition and help them in adaptation for Climate Change effects.
An interview with Rwandanews24, a woman farmer called Pauline Kamaliza live in Gashikiri village, Mara Cell, Ruhashya Sector in Huye district says how she engaged in agriculture in order to cope with climate change and boost food security.
“After receiving trainings from Corps Africa volunteers on how to do kitchen garden, I put into practice what I learnt and as you see, there are some vegetables like Beets, calottes, green vegetables (local known as imbwija) and Biringanya. Before I cultivated vegetables on garden land called ‘Imirambararo’, and another garden from basket. After that, I got chance of having trainings, and they trained us about ameliorated garden of stairs.”
After introducing it at home, she could not by vegetables at market like calotte and other kind of vegetables in this period we cope with food price high.
Her colleagues also told us how the Vegetable Garden changes their daily lives. Gertulde Kayitesi is one of them.
“This is the second time we have grown in these gardens, after being trained by the Corps Africa volunteers, we got the first yield. Now in my vegetable garden there are beets, skullcaps, cabbage and onions. The good thing about the vegetable gardens we have seen is that for every type of food you cook, you put vegetables in them because they’re closer to you, said Kayitesi.”
According to Kayitesi Jertulde, it is better to have different kinds of vegetables like Cabbages, Imbwija, Skullcaps, Dodo, Beets and Onions. The garden is very important because they eat a complete food. When you eat a food with vegetables, it leads to disease prevention. Today, we don’t get sick easily even though our children are the same. “It prevents diseases and allows us to have a better life.”
Kitchen Garden are in support of the Africa Green Stimulus Programme Scaling up Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Security Systems –Africa’s agricultural programme for adaptation to climate change and building the resilience of farmers to climate related and economic shocks require additional support, including scaling up climate smart agriculture to enhance food security and agriculture livelihoods.
Dr. Abias Maniragaba is a researcher working with Rwanda Climate Change and development Organizations network (RCCDN) explained that Kitchen gardens are friendly to the environment and as 80% of Rwandans are farmers Kitchen gardens help in climate change impact.
In 2020 Rwanda committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 38% by 2030. Rwanda and Africa in general need unity, partnerships, advocacy and climate financing in the journey towards COP27 which will take place in Egypt in November 2022.
The PRE_COP27 Media Conference heled in Rwanda from 21 to 222 September 2022, attended by science journalists and science researchers from Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia and Uganda.
It was supported and organized by USAID, MESHA, RAB, Internews, RMC, Power Africa, U.S. Department of the Interior and EARTH.