Republic of Rwanda: New banana variety to enhance productivity

A new variety of a highly productive banana plant will be distributed to farmers starting next month. Hopes are high as Rwanda tries to improve banana production and fight disease in one of the nation’s priority crops. This was announced last Friday by the Minister of Agriculture, Fulgence Nsengiyumva.
 
Nsengiyumva told The New Times that banana crops account for about 23% of the entire farmland in the country (estimated at 1.4 million hectares). Not only are bananas a staple food crop for many Rwandans, it is also an important export commodity. And given the importance of bananas to Rwanda the issue of current seeds getting old and being prone to disease must be addressed.

A farmer from Rwamagana District had two of his three hectares planted with bananas affected by Banana wilt. Since then, he has been growing newly improved banana varieties such as Fia and Poyo; this has increased the yield by about three times compared to the old banana variety.


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