Rwanda’s national food crop output climbed by 6.2 percent to 5.079m tons in the fist three months of 2010 to 5.079m from 4.783m tons in the same period last year, making the country more food secure.
Government green revolution policy, conducive climatic conditions, and the increase in use of fertilizers contributed to the rise in food crop harvest, according to the quarterly bulletin by the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR).
The report says that overall production in cereals increased by 25.15 percent, mainly occasioned by the growth in maize and wheat production. There was a sensitive decline in the production of paddy rice and sorghum.
“The total production of roots and tubers experienced better performances with17.39 percent rise mainly attributed to Irish potatoes, and cassava whose production increased by 25.84 percent and 20 percent respectively,” the report said.
The recent high output in agriculture has led to the fall in food prices and has also been central to the low inflationary pressures.
Production of bananas decreased by 8.8 percent compared as a result of uprooting non-productive banana plantations that were heavily infected while maintaining those that are productive.
Production of coffee, which is one of Rwanda’s major export crops, sharply declined by 58.8 percent to 384.6 tons in the fist quarter of 2010 from 934.5 tons in the same period last year. Tea production experienced a significant increase in the period under review.
“This drop was essentially attributable to poor weather conditions and lack of maintenance of repairing in the coffee factories. In addition, the decision taken by OCIR CAFE to start coffee season in June rather than April also contributed to this decrease in production,” the report says.
The agriculture sector, which directly or indirectly employs more than 80 percent of the households in Rwanda, grew by 10.4 percent last year compared to 8.7 percent in the previous year.
Government is banking on the sector to attain the 7 percent Gross Domestic Production (GDP) growth projection in the financial year 2010/11.