Chinese upland rice referred to as ‘golden Mountain No.1’ has proved suitable to be produced on Rwanda’s uplands, an official has said.
Norbert Sendege, Director General of Rwanda Agriculture Development Authority (RADA) said this type performed well compared with the other four varieties that were tested.
The golden Mountain No.1 is known for its early maturity which requires only four months to be harvested. Wetland rice takes about six months to mature.
Sendege noted that the other three types will be given a trial of one to two years depending on the resources available for researchers to continue to monitor their viability to different places.
“They didn’t perform well, they developed diseases and the yield wasn’t impressive but the varieties are suitable in swamps and wetlands,” he said.
The upland rice project started in August 2006 in Rwanda with an aim of understanding Rwanda’s condition and potential for growing the crop.
Lin Zhansen, a researcher and an expert at Kabuye rice demonstration centre said that the project was challenged by limited equipment to monitor the climate on a daily basis to identify which seasons are suitable for the crop.
The crop is being tested in different parts of the country including Rwamagana in the eastern province, Kabuye demonstration centre in Kigali and Huye in the southern province.
The upland rice project is expected to bridge the 18 percent deficit in rice supply on the local market.
Albert Bizimana, in charge of communication in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said that National rice output reached 246, 372 tonnes last year, 54,795 tonnes less than the market demand of 301,167 tonnes. The country relies on imports to cover the deficit.