KARONGI/RUTSIRO – Farmers of tree tomatoes locally known as ‘Ibinyomoro’ in Rutsiro district could get poor yields following the outbreak of a disease that has attacked their farms.
According to Gaspard Byukusenge, a district official, the threat needs urgent attention since the farmers have started uprooting the planted trees for fear of spreading the disease to other crops.
“The Agriculture Ministry is aware of the problem and we have experts from Rwanda Institute of Agronomy (ISAR) who are working with the farmers to identify the disease and establish its appropriate treatment,” he said.
Rutsiro district had planned to plant the fruits on over 1000 hectares but the disease forced farmers to use only 327 hectares.
Meanwhile, maize farmers in Karongi and Rutsiro districts are optimistic that this agricultural season will yield way more that last season.
Fears had earlier risen concerning the newly introduced policy of land consolidation under which farmers are encouraged to grow one particular crop on a large scale.
“At first we did not like the idea of cultivating a particular crop on a large piece of land because there seemed to be no benefit,” Jules Gakwaya, a local farmer in Bwishyura sector in Karongi district said.
Gakwaya, who abandoned potatoes to plant maize on a 2 hectres, is confident that next season will be of much value.
According to a pre-season planning report, 1664 hectares of land are supposed to be occupied by coffee while tea and maize would occupy 2000 hectares and 1949 hectares respectively.