MUSANZE — The use of scientifically improved seed varieties from the National Agriculture Research Institute (ISAR) has reportedly improved crop production in Musanze.
Farmers in the district say that the benefiting residents are those who accepted to consolidate their plots of land. The farmers got a variety of improved seeds on loan.
These included Irish potatoes, maize and beans, which they are expected to pay back in monetary terms worth the acquired seeds, before giving out more seeds to other farmers.
According to the farmers, this season’s crop production is the highest compared to previous harvests from the ordinary seeds.
After assessing the harvests in Nyange Sector, especially from the Irish potatoes, Dr Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, the Director General of ISAR said that there was a big gap between the yields on research gardens and the farmers fields. Whereas an average of 40 tonnes of Irish potatoes are harvested at research stations on every hectare, only 15 tonnes from the farmers fields are harvested, a situation attributed to poor management.
Dr Cyubahiro said that to ensure good returns, farmers must apply fertilizers at the right time, be willing to consolidate their plots, spray at the right time and regularly visit the crop fields.
Four families that acquired one tonne of improved seeds harvested an estimated 10 tonnes, after only four months. The crops were grown on land the size of 0.4hectares.
The cultivation was part of the programme of integrated watershed management where farmers jointly carry out agriculture activities.
Under the arrangement, farmers are also involved in the ideas of research and they take the ownership of the programmes.
Commercial farmers were advised to group themselves and consolidate their plots of land in order to reduce on the costs of fertilizers.