Three stakeholders in agriculture, One Acre Fund Tubura, Western Seed Company, and Agro Processing Industries yesterday inked a Rwf1.9 billion deal meant for production of local quality hybrid maize seeds as well as facilitating farmers to access them.
This seed multiplication activity will be done in the Eastern Province over an area of 400 hectares as Eric Pohlman, the director of One Acre Fund, explained.
“It is Rwf1.9 billion investment that is going to assist seed multiplication in the country in partnership with other stakeholders,” He said.
During the signing of the deal, Dr Patrick Karangwa the director general of Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), who represented the minister for agriculture, 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 Rwf5 billion to import maize seeds, soya and wheat with maize seed being the most common.”
“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,” He said.
One Acre Fund director Eric Pohlman says that about 600 tonnes of pilot seeds are expected to be multiplied in Nyagatare District, Eastern Province in September 2018.
At first, in partnership with Western Seed Company and Agro processing agreed that in September 2018, six hundred tonnes will be multiplied over an area of 4oo hectares.
“Afterwards, the quantity will be increased to about 2000 tonnes whereas the whole project will require an investment of Rwf1.9 billion,” He said.