Three stakeholders in agriculture inked a $2.2 million deal, or 1.9 billion Rwandi francs, meant for the production of local quality hybrid maize seeds, as well as facilitating farmers to access them. The stakeholders include One Acre Fund Tubura, Western Seed Company and Agro Processing Industries.
This seed multiplication activity will be done in the Eastern Province over an area of 400 hectares (about 988 acres), shares Eric Pohlman, director of One Acre Fund.
During the signing of the deal, Patrick Karangwa, the director general for the Rwanda Agriculture Board, said Rwanda supports seed multiplication by stakeholders. It is going to enable the country to satisfy its seed demand rather than importing and reaching farmers late.
“Having these stakeholders in local seed multiplication is a good thing because Rwanda has been paying more than $5.7 million to import maize seeds, soya and wheat with maize seed being the most common,” Karangwa says. “Farmers had problems getting seeds on time or complaining about the quality of the seed variety imported in the country that might not be suitable for our climate or soil.
“Seeds may also have certain infections but the fact that seeds will be multiplied here is going to put an end to all of those issues.”
Pohlman says about 600 tonnes of pilot seeds are expected to be multiplied in Nyagatare District of the Eastern Province in September.
At first, in partnership with Western Seed Company and Agro processing agreed that in September 2018, 600 tonnes will be multiplied over an area of 400 hectares.
“Afterwards, the quantity will be increased to about 2,000 tonnes whereas the whole project will require an investment of 1.9 billion Rwandi francs.”