Further Field Evaluations
By Team A (Brett, Jeff, Victoria, Jamie, Trisha)
After a splendid evening in the Eastern Providence, Team A woke up to another beautiful African morning. We fueled up on our egg omelets and pure Rwandan coffee and we were off to the cassava fields for another day of Quality Management Protocol tests.
We soon discovered that we were quite good at administering the tests. We were so efficient that instead of only performing the tests on two fields like scheduled, our group leader Sylvon said we would perform the tests on three fields! We sure felt like cassava examining professionals.
The first two fields were owned solely by farmers and the final field was owned by a cooperative of farmers. These fields averaged one hectare in size which equals two and one half acres. We noticed while walking through the fields that the improved varieties were far superior to the local varieties and the yields of these plants depended on the soil type and also the farming practices. These improved varieties are tolerant to diseases such as cassava mosaic disease and also cassava brown streak disease. We learned that cassava mosaic is common in the Eastern Providence but brown streak is not common. We were informed that if we did come across the brown streak disease, we would have to report it to the government. Fortunately, we didn’t have to make that call.
We left the healthy cassava fields with a sense of accomplishment as we left the smiling farmers with a sense of relaxation knowing they would be able to sell all of their cassava plants.