The Ministry of Trade and Industry has urged cooperatives in the country to comply with standards in their production to meet the expanding and highly competitive market.
The call was made at opening of the cooperatives exhibition at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village /Camp Kigali, yesterday.
The exhibition was organised by the National Cooperatives Confederation of Rwanda (NCCR) in partnership with Apex Media.
It brought together over 100 cooperatives in areas of agriculture, industrial activities, services, transport, mineral extractions among others.
Opening the exhibition, Telesphore Mugwiza, Ag. Director General of industry and entrepreneurship department at the ministry described cooperatives as the pillar of sustainable development; and urged members to add new technologies that can help them to reduce production costs.
He said the fact that cooperatives have been increasing in numbers from 946 in 2006 to 8800 to date shows how people understand the value of working together.
“As the government we appreciate their contribution to the country’s economy, while also urging them to continue with best practices to attract more people to join the sector,” he said.
Augustin Katabarwa, chairperson of National Cooperatives Confederation of Rwanda said that the exhibition is a great opportunity to showcase the achievements of cooperatives thanks to friendly cooperatives policy.
“Not only have cooperatives increased in number but also in capacity development where now we stand at Rwf53billion capital and contribute to individual and national revenues. We are calling on people to come and witness our progress and join us as well,” he said.
Jean Bosco Nshimiyimana, the head of Cooperative Icyerekezo Kinigi, which deals with multiplication of Irish potato inputs said that he was excited to showcase their activities as a member of cooperatives and learn from others.
According to NCCR, at the end of the exhibition, there will be a conference expected to bring together over 300 cooperatives and Saccos representatives to discuss issues affecting the development of cooperatives.