Cassava Mosaic Disease Pandemic in Rwanda
In 2004 ISAR/CIAT/USAID conducted surveys in 88 farmers’ fields in seven
cassava-growing provinces (Kibungo, Umutara, Butare, Cyangugu, Gitarama, Gikongoro
and Kigali-Ngali). The survey revealed that the severity of CMD incidence varied
between provinces and was highest in Butare (70%) and lowest in Cyangugu (25%).
Currently, CMD is found in most areas throughout Rwanda with a high prevalence rate
in the former provinces of Gikorongo, Gitarama, Butare, Umutara and Kibungo.
According to a 1999 FAO report, the average cassava yield in Rwanda in farmers’
fields was 3.6t/ha, well below Africa’s (7.7t/ha) and the World’s average (9.8t/ha).
The low yield is partly attribute to the loss of improved cassava cultivars during
the period of civil unrest in 1994, poor agronomic practices and the use of low
yielding cassava varieties. However, the present major biotic constraint to cassava
production in Rwanda is Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD).