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February 21st, 2018 / New Times, Rwanda

A new variety of highly productive banana plants will be distributed to farmers starting next month in a bid to improve banana production and fight disease in one of the priority crops in the country.

The move, under the government’s seven year programme which will come to an end in 2024, was announced last Friday by the Minister of State in charge of Agriculture Fulgence Nsengiyumva at the Ministry headquarters.

Nsengiyumva told The New Times that banana crop accounts for about 23% of the entire farmland in the country (estimated at 1.4 million hectares according to figures from MINAGRI), pointing out that apart from serving as a staple food crop for most, it also provides ripe bananas that he said can also be increased for export.

But, some farms in the country have old banana varieties that only produce about five or three kilogrammes per plant. Farmers and experts in agriculture sector say that the situation should change because it does not help a country with small land; but that technology and good agricultural practices should be enhanced so as to maximise yield per farmland. Read more