Agric ministry urges Turkish firms to invest in horticulture

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Kayisinga (second right) during the meeting with Turkish investors in Kigali. / Peterson Tumwebaze

Turkish investors have been urged to take advantage of the huge opportunities in the country’s agricultural sector, especially in horticulture and floriculture. 

While meeting a delegation of Turkish investors in Kigali recently, Jean Claude Kayisinga, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources permanent secretary, said the country’s flagship Gishari Flower Park project in Rwamagana District, presents them immense opportunities they can explore and invest in.

In addition, Kayisinga said government is looking for investors to develop the proposed Kigali Wholesale Market for Fresh Produce, noting that land and architectural designs for the facility were ready.

He said the ministry was also prepared to facilitate investors along the agriculture value chain, arguing that attracting more investors into the sector was important to improve production and the country’s exports.

The National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) is seeking investors to venture into Rwanda’s nascent flower sector as it moves to ensure it fulfills its ambitious target of increasing flower production to 44,000 tonnes per annum and generate $140 million in export receipts by 2020. 

Horticulture export revenue rose marginally to $4.8 million in July, from $4.7 million during the same period last year, indicating a 2.2 per cent growth in value, according to NAEB statistics. 

Meanwhile, the 10-man Turkish delegation said they were interested in investment opportunities and strategic business partnerships in the local agribusiness sector. 

Speaking at the meeting, Ozen Ibrahim, the chairman, Rwanda-Turkey Business Council, called for strategic business partnerships between local and foreign investors to boost agriculture productivity.

Esra Cevahair, the chief executive officer CEVAHIR Company, one of the Turkish firms exploring investment opportunities in Rwanda, said they want to form a joint venture with a local company to start operations. 

He said partnerships are essential to strengthen and increase trade between the two countries. 

Early this year, Rwanda and Turkey agreed to form the Rwanda-Turkey Business Council to boost trade and investments between the two countries. 

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has registered $400 million worth of investment projects from Turkey in the past three years. 

Rwanda’s exports to Turkey have increased to over $8.5 million on annual basis, while Rwanda imports about $21 million worth of commodities from the European country, according to RDB statistics.