In North Rwanda, the potato has been cultivated successfully for a long time already. Due to lava the consistency of soil is of excellent quality and enables perfect growing. In all other parts of Rwanda, the potato is one of the rare cultivation plants.
As the condition of the soil in West Rwanda is extremely different from that of the North, JMfA started firstly with a pilot project to see if there could be any successful cultivation of potatoes.
After digging and turning the fields at the end of July 2015 the first seedlings could be set at the beginning of September. All in all € 3,400 had been invested into this pilot project.
In December 3,000 kgs of potatoes could be harvested! Considering the 1,000 kgs of seedlings this was a good success – although the yield of the North could not be achieved. There had been to much rain, unfortunately. But the pilot project had shown that – in principle – it is possible to cultivate potatoes in Rwanda’s West.
Potatoes help the people to improve nutrition and to bring more variety onto the table. Moreover, people’s income will be increased if the potato can be planted in larger quantities throughout the region. A perfect stop to get a bit away from corn and to test new things.
How will things go on?
In order to prevent plants and soil from illnesses, the cultivation of the fields has to rotate. That means at present corn is growing on the fields and in August 2016 the second phase of the potato cultivation will start.
Moreover, JMfA is planning to offer lessons in agriculture so that the students learn in detail how to cultivate potatoes and other vegetables.