Smallholder farmers in the Eastern Province are looking forward to increased beans production after planting high-quality hybrid bean seeds.The iron-rich variety is said to be resistant to drought and diseases.
Oreste Gakumba, one of the farmers in Nyagatare District, told The New Times that his bean produce increased to two tonnes on half hectare, three times more than what he had been harvesting before.
“I tried out the hybrid beans for the first time last year and the yields were encouraging. I now plan to plant the new variety on my whole three-hectare farm this year,” he said.
Langwida Nyirabatunda, a resident of Kayonza, said the hybrid bean seeds will help increase productivity and transform the lives of residents.
“We are not only motivated by the fact that the beans are nutritious, but also their high productivity and prices. A famer can get up to 4.5 tonnes per hectare and the price per kilogramme goes up to Rwf450 as opposed to the Rwf250 for the traditional beans,” she said.
Safina Kabera, the executive secretary, Ryamoni Cell in Kayonza District, said the seed variety suits well the farmers because the area is prone to drought.
Kabera said farmers were given opportunity to do a kind of ‘batter trade’ to get the hybrid seeds.
“Farmers bring their poor quality traditional bean seeds and we give them the equivalent in kilogrammes of the hybrid seeds. In this way we expect all farmers to access the quality seeds.
We work almost 24 hours as farmers line up for the seeds,” she said.
“If you move around communities you will realise that farmers have adopted growing hybrid varieties. Up to 80 per cent of smallholder farmers in our sector plant the hybrid seeds.”
The Ministry of Agriculture introduced five new iron-rich bean varieties that can provide more iron in the diets of millions of people in 2012.