Government is set to construct 450 new driers to be shared by different pyrethrum cooperatives, an official has said. Drying is one of the major constrains faced by pyrethrum farmers in the country and it has contributed to post harvest losses.
According to Dr.Ndambe Nzaramba, the Director General of Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority (RHODA), “It is always risky and inappropriate especially during rainy seasons to depend on short sunshine interludes using some material or on bare ground outside,” he said.
He said that the inefficient drying lead to reduced production and hence low income to the farmers. The construction of the driers is set between June and July this year and they will be distributed to 24 pyrethrum cooperatives across the country. The cooperatives supply their produce to SOPYRWA Rwanda’s sole pyrethrum factory.
The total land available for pyrethrum plantation is 5,600 hectares and has the capacity to produce 4,500 metric tonnes of dry flowers per annum if properly harnessed.
According to the recently presented Monetary Policy Statement, pyrethrum was exceptional to other commodities that registered a decline in exports whereby export value increased by 68.08 percent.
Rwanda’s pyrethrum last year survived the spills of the global financial crisis because it is considered as one of the best in the world.
The statement said that the total export declined by 29.3 percent in value and by 15.09 percent in volume against an increase of 41.06 percent and 37.2 percent in 2008 respectively.
Nzaramba said government is expected to extend pyrethrum plantations to Rutsiro and Karongi districts.