South Korea’s overseas agricultural agency; Korean Program on International Agriculture (KOPIA) is set to give equipment and reagents to operationalize NARO Rwebitaba’s tissue culture laboratory in effort to produce clean planting materials especially of potatoes that are highly demanded in region.
This was revealed by the Director of KOPIA Uganda Center Dr. Taeseon Park while meeting with the Director of Research of NARO Rwebitaba ZARDI Dr. Titus Alicai at Kyembogo station on Wednesday 8th August 2023. Dr Teason said that he was impressed by the work done at Rwebitaba in setting up screen houses and equipping them with well-watered planting troughs. He said that he would also build a store house for potato seed to reduce postharvest losses and ensure proper storage. He called on the Rwebitaba team to use the screen houses maximally to meet the ever increasing demand of potatoes in the Rwenzori region.
Speaking on behalf of Rwebitaba, Dr Alicai commended KOPIA for its continued support to NARO. He said that once equipped, the laboratory would reduce on the wastage and time lags of transferring planting materials from Kacwekano ZARDI in Rubanda district. Dr. Teaseon together with the team from Rwebitaba also visited Charles Nyakahuma a participating farmer in the project from the Kicuna Tweterane Famers Group in Kicuna, Rwengaju Sub County. He commended Nyakahuma for keeping his potato garden during the dry season. The NARO team that accompanied him included Douglas Jjemba an agronomist, Faith Aharinta a technician and Dr. Tadeo Kawesi the program leader for Crops and Natural Resources Research at the institute.
The KOPIA project of Enhancing household incomes through supplying and cultivation technology of high quality and yielding potato in Uganda is being implemented in both Rwebitaba and Kacwekano. Participating farmers in the project are in 11 farmer groups found in three districts of Kyenjojo, Kabarole and Bunyangabu.