News New coffee variety release in Rwanda

In Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), a new coffee variety called RAB C 15 was released. This variety is almost similar to the farmer preferred varietes Jackosn and BM 139 and it is not only resistant to both CLR (Collee Leaf Rust) and CBD (Coffee Berry Disease) but also quite productive with cup quality attributes remarkably similar to the present commercial varieties.

Concerned URL
Source Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB)
Release date 22/12/2015
Contributor Theogene Niyibigira
Geographical coverage Rwanda
Keywords Coffee Variety Release,

Coffee is a major export crop commodity for Rwanda and an important source of cash income for almost half a million smallholder families. Its production however, is constrained by lack of suitable high yielding and disease resistant varieties and so the development of disease resistant varieties was considered as the best alternative where a participatory adaptive breeding program was initiated in 2009 with the aim of developing and releasing to coffee growers within a short span of time varieties that are  resistant mainly to Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) but also Coffee Berry Disese (CBD). During this time, a promising coffee variety RAB C 15 has been developed, that is not only resistant to both CLR and CBD but also quite productive and with cup quality attributes remarkably similar to the present commercial varieties. A series of promising additional varieties are also being developed and will be due for release to coffee growers within the next few years in an effort to boost further the Rwanda coffee industry.

This new variety is similar for many of the growth characteristics and identical in terms of cup quality to the conventional varieties BM 139 and Jackson; however, one of the most distinguishing features that the farmers will notice is its high level of disease resistance and its high productivity. It has in addition, cup quality attributes almost identical to renowned fine cup quality of the existing commercial varieties.

This new variety and other varieties being developed by RAB, are of particular strategic importance especially in view of the fact that the anticipated effect of climate change may favour the resurgence of severe diseases that could otherwise easily destroy the coffee industry in this country.  Therefore, this new coffee variety RAB C 15 deserves to be recommended to the coffee growers in order to increase their income as well as the Rwanda economy through coffee sector contribution.

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