|Threshing wheat using the traditional method
of beating with stick to remove the grains
17 February 2016. An Innovation Platform (IP) established in 2015 in Cyumba area in Rwanda has selected wheat as its primary commodity of interest since the locality has ample capacity for wheat production over two seasons in a year.
Dr Wole Fatunbi (FARA) making a point
on Cyumba IP wheat field in Rwanda
Cyumba IP was set up by the Rwanda Agricultural Board with support from FARA within the Humidtropics research program. The platform is determined to change the wheat story in Rwanda having recently mobilized 1,322 members with a total of 670 ha of well terraced land dedicated to wheat production.
- The platform has created six innovation clusters in Ryamuromba, Nubuga, Kigarama, Rusebeya, Gipandi and Remera.
- It has also engaged all the needed stakeholders group to leverage available research results and market linkages to boost its production and market access.
- It boasts of the presence of Phembe Wheat milling factory on its platform (Phembe is one of the two major wheat miller in Rwanda, and the mill is willing to buy off all the wheat produced by the platform provided its prescribed quality standards are met).
The current yield of wheat on farmer’s field in Rwanda is as low as 2 tons per hectare while elite varieties could yield as high as 6 tons per hectare. Despite the potential capacity to produce wheat in the Northern and Western part of Rwanda, the country still imports over 80% of its annual wheat consumption costing the country about Thirteen Million US Dollars ($13,000,000).
In lieu of the above, members of the Cyumba IP lamented the current state of their production and the low price that is offered for their wheat due to its quality. A kilogram of wheat is currently sold for Rwf 300 to 350 depending on quality, and this is equivalent to 0.5 US dollar per kilogram of wheat grains.