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Mutimura M.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Ebong C.,Rwanda Agriculture Board RAB | Rao I.M.,International Center for Tropical Agriculture | Nsahlai I.V.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2016

Rearing heifers for dairy cow replacement is a challenge in smallholder dairy farms in the tropics due to feed shortage. The objective of this study was to evaluate Brachiaria hybrid cultivar Mulato II as a forage resource for improving growth performance of dairy heifers under cut-and-carry feeding system in Rwanda. Sixteen crossbred (Ankole × Jersey) heifers (mean weight 203 ± 35 kg) were randomly allocated to two dietary treatments viz: Mulato II with 2 kg/day of commercial concentrates (MCC) and Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) with the same supplement (NCC), for a period of 12 weeks. Mineral lick and water were provided ad libitum. Daily feed intake and fortnightly live weight were measured. Average daily gains and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were calculated. Results showed that absolute daily dry matter intake (g DMI/day) and relative intake (g/kg of metabolic body weight—BW0.75) were higher in heifers fed on MCC than in heifers fed on NCC (P < 0.001). FCR was lower (P < 0.001) in MCC than NCC diets. Final body weight (FBW) and body weight gain (BWG) did not differ between the two groups of heifers (P > 0.05). Average daily weight gain (ADWG) also not differed significantly (P > 0.05). Based on numerical body weight changes and nutritive values, Mulato II showed potential to be integrated into local cut-and-carry feeding systems for better heifer rearing to facilitate dairy cow replacement. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Nduwumuremyi A.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Melis R.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Shanahan P.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Asiimwe T.,Rwanda Agriculture Board RAB
Food Security | Year: 2016

Physiological postharvest deterioration (PPD) and late bulking are among the traits that make cassava an unattractive crop in many environments. This study aimed at assessing the main constraints of cassava production, the effects of late bulking, the losses due to PPD and the factors affecting adoption of new cultivars in Rwanda. A participatory rural appraisal (PRA) and a baseline survey were conducted in March-May 2014 in three agro-ecological zones in the country using a multistage sampling method. Cassava was grown on 0.29 ha out of 0.69 ha total average land possession per household. The majority of cassava farmers (59.1 %) practised intercropping as their land holding is small. Average yield was 21.8 t ha−1. A number of constraints was identified, particularly the lack of clean cuttings, viral diseases, late bulking cultivars, drought, limited information and knowledge, weathered soils, insufficient fertilizers, land shortage, lack of markets and effective storage techniques. Loss due to PPD was estimated at 11.9 % of total production per year. Piecemeal harvest and underground storage of roots were the main practices used to delay PPD. Change in colour and taste, rotting, difficulty in removing skin and increase of fibres in the flesh were the farmers’ methods for assessing PPD. Time to harvest varied from district to district and was attributed to genetic x environment interactions. The use of late bulking varieties and the lack of yield production of other crops resulted in reduced food availability and potential food crises. Farmer preferences, information and extension services, performance, quality, market acceptability and cutting production influenced the adoption of new cassava cultivars. Thus, breeding objectives targeting the end user preferences could enhance the adoption of new cultivars. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology


Mutimura M.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Ebong C.,Rwanda Agriculture Board RAB | Rao I.M.,International Center for Tropical Agriculture | Nsahlai I.V.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2015

Smallholder dairy farmers in Rwanda use diversity of resources to cope with endemic feed shortages. However, there is inadequate real farm data to support farmer decisions on choices of options. The main objective of this study was to evaluate nutritional quality of feed types that farmers use in different agro-ecological zones of Rwanda. Samples of feed types were collected from 90 randomly selected households in the low- and mid-high-altitude zones of Rwanda and analysed for proximate composition, contents of metabolisable energy (ME), organic matter digestibility (OMD) and neutral detergent fibre digestibility (NDFd). Rumen fermentation characteristics and efficiency of energy utilisation were examined by determining partitioning factor (PF). Results showed that only five out of 24 feed types were common in both districts. Chemical composition, OMD, ME, NDFd and PF of these feed types differed significantly (P < 0.05) in their nutritional attributes. This suggests that a common feed composition table can be used as a component of the decision support tool for rational feed resource development and utilisation in the smallholder farms in the selected agro-ecologies of Rwanda. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Singh R.K.,IRRI ESA Regional Office | Murori R.,IRRI ESA Regional Office | Ndayiragije A.,IRRI ESA Regional Office | Bigirimana J.,IRRI ESA Regional Office | And 9 more authors.
Sabrao Journal of Breeding and Genetics | Year: 2013

A very high consumption growth rate has made rice one of the most important crops in Africa, but Africa's rice production growth rate is too low to match the consumption trend. A strong thrust is needed to boost rice production and productivity in Africa, especially in eastern and southern Africa (ESA), where large suitable land areas and resources with a congenial environment are available. Rice breeding activities in ESA, specifically for rainfed lowlands and irrigated ecosystems that have maximum area, did not receive enough attention in the past and hence lag behind in the development of appropriate high-yielding varieties. A poor rice variety development program for rainfed lowlands and irrigated areas was also marred by poor capacity, poor infrastructure, and a lack of proper policy support. This paper discusses the current issues related to the rice breeding scenario and the initiation of breeding support by CGIAR institutes such as IRRI in ESA. © Society for the Advancement of Breeding Research in Asia and Oceania (SABRAO) 2013.


Placide R.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Shimelis H.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Laing M.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Gahakwa D.,Rwanda Agriculture Board RAB
Tropical Agriculture | Year: 2015

During phenotypic evaluation of crop plants many traits are simultaneously evaluated. These traits are often highly interrelated, evaluation of all these traits is costly and may not enhance selection response. The objectives of this study were to use Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to identify representative traits for phenotypic characterization of sweet potato, and thereby to identify superior clones for breeding. Fifty four sweet potato genotypes were field evaluated using 26 phenotypic traits under a 9 × 6 unbalanced alpha lattice design with three replications at the Karama and Rubona Research Stations in Rwanda. The PCA identified seven principal components (PC) that explained 77.83% of total variation present in the genotypes. Nineteen useful traits were identified as the main traits for effective phenotypic characterization of sweet potato, showing high correlations with the seven PCs. Genotypic variance had the greatest contribution to the total sources of variation for flowering rate (65.3%), yield of storage root (52.4%), vine yields (62.8%), total biomass (56.3%), harvest index (61.1%), weight of biggest root (50.6%) and dry matter content (57.5%). Genotypes 8-1038, Kwezikumwe and K513261 were identified as high yielding with the greatest flowering ability, while OTADA 70,9-486, Purple 297,2005-146,8-1039, NASPOT 9, 2005-020, Newkaogo, 440163 and OTADA 24 were all high yielders of both storage roots and vines. The identified principal traits and genotypes may be useful in sweet potato breeding in Rwanda and similar agro-ecologies. © 2015 Trop. Agric. (Trinidad).

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