Some potato growers in Burera District in Cyanika Sector say they may stop cultivating Irish potatoes completely due to the rise in the price of their seeds.
The rise is said to be unrelated to the farmers capacity and production, requiring them to sell at a lower price and thus causing them to operate at a loss.
Residents of Cyanika Sector in Burera District told the media on Tuesday (May 25th) during a press conference organized by Pax Press, where residents discuss with local leaders and share their views on the situation and how it can be solved.
In an interview with the media, potato growers said that they were very concerned about the rise in the price of potato seeds. One of the reasons is that potato seeds which used to come from neighboring Uganda are no longer available due to borders closure.
The problem with the lack of resources to buy seeds may cause some even stop growing Irish Potatoes until the price of seeds goes down.
Jacques Munyamashuri from Cyanika Sector said, “Before the border was closed, we used seeds from Uganda, but but now we can’t access them anymore.”
“Before the border was closed, we bought seeds on Rwf300 a kilo or Rwf400 when the price rise. Even if we have seeds multipliers, their capacity of offering is limited compared to the demand. An other issue is that sometimes seeds are available later which affect the production.”
Another resident, Mukanshimiyimana Evaste, also confirmed that the cost of potato seeds was high compared to the price available at the production stage. They were selling the product at a lower price and making no profit.
Mukanshimiyimana said, “The seeds we buy are expensive and we also spend additional cost of fertilizers and sell them for as little as Rwf170 per kilo.”
On the part of the Burera District administration, say that in the past they had a problem with potato seeds because in the District almost all the people grow potatoes but now the problem of seeds has started to be solved even though they have not yet reached a solution like as the public wishes.
Burera District Mayor Marie Chantal Uwanyirigira said: “In the past we have had a problem with potato seeds at the national level but now this issue has started to be solved”
She explains that the price of potato seeds which used to be at Rwf700 is now between Rwfr 350 and Rwf 400.