Rubona agricultural researchers urged to share findings with public

Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente on Tuesday advised researchers at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB’s) Rubona research station in Huye District to always share their research information with the public.

That way, the premier said on his final leg of his two-day tour of Southern Province, the research will significantly impact the country’s development agenda.

At the research station, Ngirente and other top officials, including cabinet ministers, said they were impressed by the research findings there but pointed out a gap between the findings and the people who use them.

The general consensus was that much more effort is necessary to ensure that stakeholders - including rural farmers, students among others – to get to know about the better seed varieties, and other research findings readily available at the station.

“You have very good things here but I think people out there often don’t get to know about it. This is something you need to work on; and ensure that Rwandans out there get to have all required information so as to enhance their production,” Ngirente told researchers at the station.

Local Government Minister Francis Kaboneka, who was among the officials that accompanied the Prime Minister on the tour, said: “I think it would actually be good to have teams in rural areas who help in dissemination of the abundant knowledge you have here.”

He said that such teams would reach many people and eventually help government create much more awareness.

The Director General of RAB, Dr Patrick Karangwa, told The New Times that dissemination of information is being done but also agreed that much more can be done to best publicise findings.

“What the PM said is actually what has to be done. We (will) upscale dissemination through networks such as seed multipliers, industrial processors for post-harvest technologies, sellers of agricultural chemicals, and many others,” Karangwa said.

There is a chain of stakeholders, he explained, that also involves the business community as is the best practice elsewhere in the world after research institutions have done their work.

“All these stakeholders are highly valuable partners, especially quality or better seed multipliers, in the dissemination of research information.”

Dr Christine Mukantwali, a post-harvest and nutrition scientist at the station, explained some of the works that have been achieved at the centre.

She cited different technologies including one for processing cassava and sweet potatoes into different products like flours, and another for processing fruits and vegetables into juices and jam.