BY PAUL NTAMBARA
HUYE: Rwanda Agricultural Research Agency (RADA) is conducting a five-day training seminar for agriculture officers in a bid to counter the continued spread of the cassava mosaic virus in Huye District.
The Director of RADA, Patrice Hakizimana said that the training that has attracted district officials and NGOs will create a united front in the fight against the cassava mosaic. “If we are to eradicate the virus, we have to bring all stakeholders in the field on board,” Hakizimana said
He explained: “In this training, we have people from different cooperatives, district agriculture officers and officials from NGO’s dealing with farmers. We shall look at ways of fighting the cassava mosaic which has become a regional problem and the best way of making the new high breed cassava stems available to farmers.” The cassava mosaic virus was identified in the region in 1997. In 2005, the Agriculture Research Institute (ISAR) came up with a high breed cassava stem that is resistant to the cassava mosaic virus and thereafter started multiplying it so as to circulate it all over the country. Hakizimana explained further: “We are using farmers unions like syndicat Ingabo to ensure that the newly developed breed of cassava is multiplied and given out to farmers. He disclosed that they are getting support from other countries in the region through the International Institute of tropical Agriculture (IITA). RADA has also played an active role in the fight against the banana wilt disease, which broke out recently in Rutsiro and Rubavu districts.