Musanze - Heads of farmers’ cooperatives especially Irish potato growers, are meeting in Musanze town, to discuss ways of increasing access to quality seeds and fertilisers.
The two-day meeting organised by the Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives (FECOPFORWA), attracted heads of cooperatives from over 10 districts.
“The clean seeds cover only 20 percent of the quantity needed by farmers. This has affected the quality and quantity of the potatoes produced. Even in the market, buyers dictate the prices of Irish potatoes. We need support,’’ said Isaac Nzabarinda, president of one of the potato growing cooperatives in Musanze.
According to Ntizo Senkesha, a researcher from Roots and Tubers program of the Rwanda Agricultural Board, there was need to involve the private sector to adopt technologies that enhance the production of more seeds.
“The capacity to produce good seeds is still inadequate for the available market. More people should get involved in the multiplication of seeds and ensure proper management of those in the field,” Senkesha said.
“There is need to establish specific markets. For instance, pyrethrum farmers are assured of a market since there is a processing plant in the area.”
The Musanze District Vice Mayor, Jerome Mugenzi, said that plans for the construction of a potato processing plant in Musanze were underway, thus guaranteeing a market and production of quality products.
The meeting was funded by Research Into Use-RIU, an agricultural support organisation.