Farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo will reap the benefits of extensive evaluations of improved crop varieties in North and South Kivu that culminated in the release of 14 new and improved varieties of three critical food crops earlier this month. Agricultural authorities from DRC’s “Service National des Semences” (SENASEM) have announced that 3 new varieties of maize, 1 variety of cassava, and 10 varieties of an assortment of both climbing beans and bush beans will be available to farmers immediately. They will also be listed in the national crop variety catalogue.
The release of these seeds marks a landmark moment in the country, as it is, for example, the first time a hybrid maize variety has been released and commercialized for use by farmers in the DRC. The released cassava variety is likewise the first ever available to farmers with resistance to the devastating cassava brown streak disease. These varieties were tested and proposed for release by DRC’s national agricultural research institute, INERA. This work was sponsored by Partners for Seed in Africa (PASA), with funding from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, entered into the country in 2014. See more