Rice which is a cereal crop was introduced in Rwanda in the 1950’s and rice production has become a significant component of the agricultural sector in Rwanda. Rice crop is grown in developed flood valleys or in the marshland areas in the country.
Key rice growing areas
Areas in Rwanda where rice is grown include;
Rwanda produces about 27,866 kg of paddy rice, equivalent to 18,112 kg of polished rice.
Development partners for rice in Rwanda
The partners in the rice sector include the following:
Rural Sector Support Project for (RSSP) for marshland development.
The project is to increase agricultural production and marketing in marshland and hillside areas targeted for development under the Project in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture in Rwanda (PAPSTA).
The plan is intended to achieve the following:
- Raising rural incomes and spurring on progressive development in the secondary and tertiary sectors.
- Reducing poverty by increasing productivity and competitiveness.
Agro-Action-Allemande (AAA) Project
Projet d’Appui au Developement Agricole de Bugasera (PADAB)
The uses of rice include the following:
- Rice is one of the staple foods in the country.
- Rice crop gives a good option to combat the problem of food insecurity because it has high yield.
- Rice is convenience in both handling and food preparation.
- The rice crop allows the exploitation of flood prone valley bottoms, contrary to most of the other food crop.
- Generates income for producers and revenue to the country.
- The bi-products of the rice crop are utilized in the preparation of animal feeds.
Varieties of rice in Rwanda
The varieties of rice available in Rwanda include the following:
- Basmati 370
- 370, Nerica 9
- WAT 9
The challenges that the farmers face in growing rice include the following:
- There is a challenge of accessing water because rice is widely grown as an irrigated crop in Rwanda.
- Lack of knowledge on appropriate control measures against pests and diseases amongst farmers.
- Lack of suitable fertilizer and high fertilizer cost contributes to poor nutrient management in rice field
- Difficult to access sufficient amounts of good quality rice seeds.