The Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana, has appreciated farmers who are working tirelessly to produce enough food for the rest of the population during this period where the country is under lockdown as part of precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“As our country continues to fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, @RwandaAgri extends highest appreciation to our farmers for the essential role they are playing to keep our people fed. No words to thank you enough,” the minister wrote on her Twitter account on April 21, 2020.

Since the COVID-19 lockdown started, all unnecessary movements were banned but farmers and service providers along the agricultural value chain have been allowed to continue their activities so that food chain is not disrupted.

A recent cabinet meeting resolved that “farming will continue in preparation for the ongoing agricultural season B while observing guidelines from health authorities”.

Ministerial instructions aimed at helping farmers get needed services amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown say that transporters of food commodities or providers of essential services should request for permission from local authorities.

Those services include veterinary pharmacies, animal feeds, fertilisers, harvesting, transportation and trading of farm produce, agriculture extension services, and agro-processing, as well as the marketing of processed foods and beverages. Employees should also respect social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at their workplace.