Rwandan Agricultural Scientists Undertake Research to Grow Crops Among Rocks

1 December 2020

Rwandan agricultural Scientists are in trials to grow crops among rocks.

Known as 'Geological agriculture,' the technique makes it possible to grow plants among rocks without the use of neither soil nor fertilizers as a way of coping with challenges such as land scarcity, climate change, unavailability of fertilizers, and so on.

Marie Diane Uwayezu, an Agricultural and Food Security expert said that producing food without the usage of agricultural input may be the easiest and cheapest way to curb food insecurity going forward.

"There are two types of ways to grow plants among rocks namely outdoor and indoor. In the outdoor concept, plants are grown outside houses where the light can reach easily, while within indoor approach, plants are grown inside houses," she explained

Researchers explain that the first step involves gathering all materials needed including sand, rocks or gravels, containers, seeds, and water).

The second step includes making holes on containers sides so as to enable the air to reach roots of plants into the container.

The third step requires putting all materials in the container while the fourth step is watering.

Uwayezu said that the trials will help cope with food shortage and land shortage.

"We have already tried peanuts, beans, Soybeans, cucumbers, peppers, and others," she said.

The scientist explained that the technique can also work in areas lacking rainfall.

Researchers say with the technique, the plants are not affected by pests.

Augustin Bahati, The Executive Director of ARDE/KUBAHO, a local organization partnering in the research said that once the first phase of the research is completed and found more convenient, it will be scaled up in both urban and rural areas.

Initially, the farming method was tested in other countries, such as Cameroon, Togo, Senegal, the United States, and others.

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