While Rwandan farmers are preparing for the new Agricultural season, the International Potato Centre (CIP) and Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) are establishing trials of new potato clones across the country for evaluation, TOPAFRICANEWS reports
RAB reveals that new potato variety named “Shangi” and currently under trial in Rulindo District of the Northern Province of Rwanda, is one of the other awaited varieties that will boost potato production.
Officials said “Shangi” variety can produce 30 tons per hectare compared to the other varieties which can’t go beyond 25 tons per hectare.
TOPAFRICANEWS has learnt that “Just like the other 5 varieties which were released in the beginning of this year (2019), more varieties will be released to give farmers more choices.”
Ndacyayisenga Theophile, in charge of Crop Research at Rwanda Agriculture Board announced that the new variety under trial in Kisaro Sector of Rulindo District will be an additional choice to potato farmers in the country.
He added that “Shangi” is diseases resistant as well as productive.
“We have seen that “Shangi” farmers can harvest 30 tons per hectare while for other varieties the harvest is between 25 to 28 tons per hectare.” He explains
Apart from Shangi Variety, Ndacyayisenga also added that there is another variety known as “112” under trial and it is also expected to be the preference among the farmers.
Mubashankwaya Emmanuel, one of the farmers also Seed multiplier testifies that among eight varieties tested, all have shown the promising results which is the good news for potato farmers.
Mubashankwaye noted that “for instance, in only 80 days you can start harvesting “Shangi” variety while for other accustomed varieties you only start harvesting after 90 days.”
According to Officials from the International Potato Centre in Rwanda, there are about five potato varieties already released in the beginning of this year, while more varieties are being tested so by the end of next year farmers will be able to select which type is favorable for farming.
“We are doing trials because we want farmers to find out which one is more productive than others. And after all, we evaluate whether the crop is resistant to effect of climate change and diseases and at the same time we also check if it is delicious…” said Jean Claude Nshimimana, CIP Agronomist & Research associate with a passion and experience on seed system for both Potatoes and Sweetpotatoes.