Friday, 24 February 2012

Rwanda : IRST- Rwandas agricultural research archive

IRST- Rwandas 1

The Institute of scientific and Technological Research (IRST) is the place where brains are ever at work, researching about scientific and technological activities in and outside the Rwanda in order to improve the agricultural sector and knowledge based agricultural activities.

Through this article, wishes to take you through a particular department of IRST called Herbarium – which is a place where you will find each and every plant that exists or has ever existed on Rwanda’s soil.

Vedaste Minani is the head of Herbarium and is mostly specializes in carrying out research on new plants planted on the Rwandan soil.

“We have a collection of 3600 different plant species. These species are kept dry and in their original format with trunks, leaves, seeds and flowers such that at first glance, a person can identify which type it is” Minani explains.
IRST- Rwandas 2
Details of the stored plants include names and places of where they were extracted, are all written in both Kinyarwanda and English versions.
IRST- Rwandas 3
For some people who are not inclined to scientific findings, it is easy to ask questions of doubt – like: of what importance is such a collection?
For the IRST scientists, explanation is very important. “Through such research we are able to determine which plants are on the verge of extinction and devise means of preserving them. Such collections are further used for study purposes rather than wasting time to travel looking for where such plants can be found” Minani explains

Since herbarium stores plants in accordance to their respective districts of origin, it helps IRST determine which plant best suits which area, most especially during times when a particular area is to be given its earlier image.

Such research example include the process of re-planting trees in the deforested parts of Gishwati forest, in which research findings are very crucial and the steady developments are put under study at the institute.


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