Rwanda’s horticulture exports have dropped from $341.658 (Frw188.4m) in August last year to $131.171 (Frw72.3m) in August this year, according to Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (Riepa).
Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority (RHODA) attributes the fall in export revenue to the low value of horticulture exports which does not attract much demand on the international market.
Eric Kabayiza, head of production unit in RHODA, said Rwandans are still challenged by standards and the potential to sustain the market.
Information from RHODA show that only five local exporters produce for international markets. They include, East African growers, which exports French beans, Rwanda Flora—exporting flowers, Floris— sweet bananas, Shekina and Sorwatom which export vegetables.
Tony Nsanganira, Riepa’s acting Director of export promotion said the value is not meeting the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy target of about U$5.9m (Frw3.3b) per year.
“The problem could be production, our role is to liaise with exporters but its time we (RIEPA) move down to producers and facilitate them increase on production,” Nsanganira said.
He urges producers and exporters to utilize the export fund, launched in August this year to help private companies to improve their competitiveness in domestic and export markets.
The basket of Frw150 million funds to the tune of 30 and 50 percent depending on how big is the project.
According a baseline survey conducted across the country by RHODA horticulture production in August was 309,171 tonnes of vegetables including French beans, Tomatoes, Cabbages, Onions, Carrots, eggplants and Leeks.
A total of 173,757 tonnes of fruits including, passion fruits 16,870 tonnes, pineapples 31,329 tonnes, mangos 67,765 tonnes, lemon 36,355 tonnes and Oranges 21,438 tonnes were produced.