Close to 8,000 metric tonnes of high-quality food crop seeds are being distributed to farmers across the country for the new season, a top agricultural official has said.
Norbert Sendege, the Director General of Rwanda Agriculture Development Authority (RADA), said the distribution exercise kicked off a week ago and will close on Saturday. The exercise is in the framework of the Crop Intensification Programme (CIP).
He said the objective is to help improve food production after farmers blamed the low yield in the previous seasons on poor quality seeds.
“This season, we are being careful to avoid mistakes that were made previously when farmers planted seeds meant for high altitude in low altitude areas, hence affecting their harvests,” Sendege said in an exclusive interview.
Seeds being distributed include maize, wheat, rice and Irish potatoes. Climbing beans are also being distributed for seed multiplication to ensure availability of the variety in most parts of the country in the shortest time possible, he added.
However, the official called upon farmers to participate in Irish potato seed multiplication, saying that national demand for the seeds is too high compared to the available seeds for distribution.
“The national demand for Irish potato seeds stands at 25,000 metric tonnes but we are only able to provide 3,000 metric tonnes which is not even 20 percent of what is required,” he said.
RADA is distributing 3,000 tonnes of maize, 1,400 tonnes of wheat, and 240 tonnes of rice and 200 tonnes of climbing beans.