HUYE - Researchers from the Rwanda Agricultural Research Institute (ISAR) have developed a new technique of multiplying coffee seedlings that resist diseases and yield higher than the traditional plants, it has emerged.
The technique entitled ‘Tissue Coffee Culture” involves the culture of coffee cells, tissues or organs that are isolated aseptically and put under controlled environmental condition in a laboratory. The multiplication is done in phases that last for a period of 10 to 12 months before having real coffee seedlings that can be planted.
According to researchers, a 1cm2 sterile coffee tissue gives more than 20 seedlings after multiplication.
Currently, the Rwanda Agricultural Research Institute has the capacity to produce 50 thousand seedlings in three months, according to statistics from the research unit.
Speaking last Thursday after a one-day conference to discuss the importance of the technique for coffee growers, Vicky Ruganzu, the assistant Director in charge of research in the Rwanda Agricultural Research Institute, noted that the new technique can help coffee growers increase productivity.
The conference brought together representatives of coffee growers’ cooperatives, researchers and others from the coffee sector.
“This is a new technique of coffee multiplication we have come out with. With it, you have a high rate of clean seedlings in a short period of time and plants produce more than the conventional seedlings”, Ruganzu said.
The ‘In vitro’ propagation of coffee will increase the space of coffee plantations as an important cash crop.
Coffee growers have shown an interest in the technique, noting that it will help them boost their production.
“The quality of our production depends highly on the quality of our plants. These seedlings are very welcome as they are disease resistant and able to produce in a short period of time”, said Theophile Biziyaremye of Maraba coffee cooperative.
Coffee is one of the most important cash crops in Rwanda earning the country foreign currency and is internationally recognized as one of the world’s best.