Rwanda update

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In Rwanda the national project staff has been reduced to the country coordinator only. However, there are several partners involved in dissemination activities, inlucing DRD in the districts of Burera, and Gakenke, CARITAS Rwanda in Bugesera district, COCOF in Kamonyi district, and EPR in Kayonza. There are also informal partners such as Clinton Hunter Foundation and One Acre Fund (Tubura) who also have been actively disseminating N2Africa technologies outside the mandate zones of the project. In addition there are linkages with the Post-Harvest and Agribusiness Support project of MINAGRI/ IFAD, to promote the use of PICS bags on grain storage (Bean and Maize). Current dissemination activities include the production of extension materials, establishment of demonstration plots and seed multiplication of newly released soybean varieties. Soyabean demonstration trials show five soybean varieties (four new and one local), both with and without inoculants. Additionally, six demonstrations plots on different methods of staking climbing bean and use of inoculants in climbing bean are installed in six sites in Burera and Gakenke districts.

Research activities in Rwanda continue with rotational trials with maize in fields where soyabean and bush bean trials were established in the last season (2014 A). In addition, new field trials are ongoing in Northern Rwanda with the aim to explore the possible mechanisms behind the response of climbing bean to low rates of manure application.

N2Africa works with several partners to maintain a sustainable input supply, which is important for the continuation of legume dissemination and adoption of legume technologies. Partner RAB (Rwanda Agricultural Board) multiplies foundation seeds of soyabean variety SB24 on station, and at the same time maintains all varieties released. Also COCOF multiplies certified seeds of SB24. Farmer cooperatives multiply certified seeds of SC Squire, SC Saga, and SC Sequel in collaboration with Seed Co. In addition, the Rhizobiology Laboratory established a pilot legume inoculant plant, producing 44,500 (80 gram) packets of inoculant for soyabean and common bean in 2013. RAB now continues to produce inoculants for both soybean and common bean. N2Africa also aligned with existing opportunities to scale up activities, such as Government policy on importation and distribution of mineral fertilizers in the country, and agro-dealer networks operating at grassroot level selling agriculture inputs.

From 6 month country report by Speciose Kantengwa (compiled by Greta van den Brand).