The lack of quality and improved seeds in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries has significantly contributed to food insecurity and poverty in the region, experts have said.
In Rwanda, farmers praise the good yields from the hybrid seeds but decry the high cost of obtaining them.
to statistics, only 23% of the 80 million smallholder farmers in the COMESA
region have access to improved seeds, leading to low productivity especially on
cereals like maize, sorghum and pearl millet.
To curb this problem, COMESA developed a seed harmonization program that would help increase access to quality and improved seeds and alleviate food insecurity in the region.
Dr Charles Bucagu, the Deputy Director
General of Agriculture Research and
Technology Transfer at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) said that food security is tied to the use of
good quality and improved seeds.
Dr. Bucagu said that RAB has already developed hybrid seeds that have increased food productivity.
Farmers who have used these improved seeds say that though the yields are bountiful, the cost of acquiring these seeds is still too high.
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