In some areas of Karongi district, western province, farmers are counting huge losses after maize seeds provided by Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) have shockingly not developed maize cobs.
The cob is that part with grains which we eat. Farmers in Rubengera sector have large plantations of maize stalks (stems) but those stalks have no cobs.
It is a strange case that has shocked the farmers, district officials, and it is said officials from RAB are scheduled to visit the region to establish what happened.
The maize called ‘Hybrid’ as reported by affected farmers, was developed by government scientists. The seeds were then provided to the farmers, usually done through a heavily subsidised government support scheme for farmers that is also done for different other crops.
Farmers interviewed by local media said they cannot believe what happened to them. “The stalks (stems) grow so tall that they reach height of my house but we waited in vain for cobs to come,” said farmer Nsengiyumva Francois, in interview with Umuseke.
Karongi District and RAB officials meanwhile say a possible cause of this undeveloped maize could be that the farmers used insufficient quantities of fertilizers, or the maize doesn’t grow in the soils of that region yet it grows well in others.
For the farmers now counting huge losses, their problem now is whether they will be left to suffer on their own or there will be some form of compensation. There is also risk of food shortage as that maize would have been their food and source of income.