By Team A (Brett, Jamie, Jeff, Victoria)
Crop day. Cassava is all we can see or think about after spending the day neck deep in the crop. You see we started out the day quite well; with the usual life altering breakfast to send us off (fruit, meat, rice, potatoes, and COFFEE). Then it was off to the far reaches of the Eastern Providence of the country to work with the Rwanda Rural Rehabilitation Initiative (RWARRI) on crop quality management protocol. Don’t worry…it was really exciting.
After a very informative meeting about cassava pathology, we made a mad dash towards the field to start our work. The field held so much hope to us all. We were able to compare this field planted (with improved varieties researched by ISAR) to a field of local varieties, what a difference! The crop was larger, the plants more healthy, and the yields four times as much. We found this out by examining 100 plants for 3 diseases, and comparing this to other fields with local varieties of cassava.
To say it simply, Africa knows how to breed plants, and in turn breed hope. Hope for a better life, for less hunger, and for a better Rwanda.
After this day of working like the farmers do we can all say we can’t wait to share this knowledge with everyone who will listen. Look out world, Africa is growing life-changing crops!