Rwanda Agriculture Development Authority (RADA) has called upon farmers to increase quality seeds by engaging in the seed multiplication exercise, a move that will maintain the prevailing food security.
The call was made by the head of Seed Development Unit at RADA, Gervais Ngerero, during a workshop that aimed at assessing the five-year seed multiplication project-AFSR which ended in September.
“Farmers only concentrate on seeds they believe are profitable, ignoring legumes with claims that they are not profitable,” Ngerero noted. “Seed multiplication should not only be left for RADA, but farmers too,” he said.
The project that cost 6.7m Euros, aimed at putting in place measures that will ensure adequate production of quality seeds that are, as well, accessible to all farmers.
In his presentation, Ngerero, who also headed the project, said that, overall, the project was successful despite some challenges.
“Seed multipliers have been identified at both regional and country level, a seed gene bank was constructed and equipped at ISAR Rubona as well as training its staff,” he said.
A gene bank is a facility where sample seeds are kept and protected from any form of infection.
Other achievements included the construction and equipment of a central seed laboratory at RADA.
Jointly funded by the government of Rwanda and Belgium, the project established a framework where all stakeholders in the seed multiplication exercise make consultations on a regular basis.
However, findings of the project show that among other challenges private seed multipliers are faced with a problem of access to credit.