Six new potato varieties from Peru have been released from research center to farmers in Rwanda.
Ndamira, Twigire, Seka, Icyerekezo, Jyambere and Gisubizo, are the names for the new potato varieties released on 14th February 2020 in Musanze District, in the Northern Province of Rwanda.
The new varieties will benefit potato farmers as they are resistant to diseases and also give much produce compared to the current varieties, according to Officials.
Dr. Kirimi Sindi, senior scientist and country manager at International Potato Center (CIP) Rwanda explained that “Most of the potato we have released, you can get between 30 to around 60 tons by hectare. Today, what we are harvesting is around 7 to 11 tons by hectare. So that is three to six times of what you could harvest before with the same agronomic practices.”
“Those are advantages of the material we have” He said.
Apart from the increase of production, these new varieties were cherished by farmers who say that the current varieties they had were not appreciated by some processing industry due to low quality.
“We have tasted them and get to know how sweet they are and we’ve seen that from them we can make breads. It is a chance for us farmers in terms of market as the chips processing industries used to order potatoes but don’t get the good quality suitable for chips. But those varieties, as we have seen, they will give a solution to this issue.” Says Isaac Nzabarinda, a potato seed multiplier in Musanze district.
All the new varieties are from Peru where five of them were introduced in 2013 while the remaining one was introduced in 2015.
Having this quality of proving much produce fits one of the targets of Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity, a USAID funded project that financed the releasing of these new varieties.
They are targeting to have at least 530 thousand households who will benefit from increased agricultural production and improved nutrition while 200 thousand of farmers who will benefit from increased production.
USAID Hinga Weze will also assist farmers to easily get these new varieties as promised by Mr. Daniel Gies, the chief of Party, at the same release event held on 12th February 2020 in Nyamagabe district, in the Southern Province of Rwanda.1323