Friday, February 16, 2024

IRRI Burundi turns over seeds of improved rice variety to INERA to boost seed production in the Democratic Republic of Congo

03 September 2023 (South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo) – The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Burundi transferred 300 kilograms of pre-basic seeds of Mugwiza rice to the National Institute for Agronomic Study and Research (INERA) to boost the production of quality foundation seed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Mugwiza is an improved rice variety introduced in Burundi for lowland irrigated ecosystems in 2016. Mugwiza is resistant to the rice blast disease and was one of the varieties recommended for further study as a benchmark for better crop breeding programs and disease and yield management in Burundi.

The seed material, which was produced in partnership with INERA and the National Seed Service (SENASEM),  is expected to address varietal degeneration that limits the country’s rice production in DRC.

“Degenerated rice varieties led to low yields,” said Mongana Etia Jean-Claude, Head of the Rice Unit at INERA. “With the new high-quality seeds made available by IRRI, INERA will be able to produce different categories of seeds and provide them to rice producers. This will improve rice yields in our province and production areas.”

Additionally, it has been recommended that INERA monitor other seed categories to ensure that they reach rice farmers and lead in the production of pre-basic seeds to help improve living conditions in DRC.

The dissemination of pre-basic seeds of the Mugwiza variety will also enhance the country’s seed system. 

“Being a very important food commodity throughout the country, the volume of rice produced is high,” said Samy Bacigale, head of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Office in Uvira. “But there is a lack of continuity in the cycle of producing pre-basic, foundation, and certified seeds until it reaches the rice farmers. Working with IRRI, I hope the cycle will continue, especially now that we are working with INERA and SENASEM and with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture in South Kivu.” 

IRRI Senior Manager Jean-Berchmans Bizimana called the effort a significant step towards enhancing the institute’s impact on rice agriculture and food security of in DRC.

“It is part of our ongoing commitment to promoting sustainable agriculture and food security in the area,” he said.

Mr. Bizimana also assured that, in the following seasons, IRRI plans to share seeds of other released rice varieties including Makassane, the first rice variety bred by IRRI specifically for Mozambique consumers and farmers, and Komboka and Tai released in 2015 in Tanzania.

“We can mobilize higher authorities, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, to provide INERA with the resources it needs to ensure that the basic seed from this production,” said Jonathan Makombe Mazambe, the provincial coordinator of SENASEM in South Kivu.

The turnover of the seed materials was made in September 2023 under the Great Lakes Accelerated Innovation Delivery Initiative, Rapid Delivery Hub funded by the USAID through IITA.

“We are extremely grateful for the support that USAID provided which enabled IRRI to produce good-quality early-generation rice seeds,” said Jean Shishi Nalibwine from the DRC Minister of Agriculture. “These seeds will help significantly improve the quality of rice crops we produce and make a real impact on the lives of farmers and communities in need.”


Learn more about IRRI ( or follow us on social media and networks (all links down the right column).

No comments:

Post a Comment