Plans aimed at widening the country’s exports base and promoting agribusiness have gained pace after the government unveiled an initiative to attract investors into the horticulture sector.
According to a notice by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, government seeks a consultant to develop promotion materials for horticulture products, including pineapples, passion fruits and tree tomato with a view of attracting more private sector investments into agribusiness and improving access to agriculture development information. Other targeted crops are macadamia, chillies, French beans, fruits, vegetables, peas, tomatoes, nuts and eggplants.
“A diversified and competitive agribusiness sector can contribute to export-led growth, food import substitution, enhanced food security and create jobs, which will help improve household incomes and reduce poverty,” the ministry said in the notice.
“The business cases and promotion tools will help the Rwanda Development Board and National Agriculture Export Board in their day-to-day investment and export promotion mission, enabling them to give investors direct information on specific horticulture investment opportunities,” it added.
The consultancy will be funded by the World Bank through the governance for competitiveness project that is co-ordinated by the single project implementation unit under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Currently, Rwanda’s fruit and vegetable exports are largely dominated by informal cross-border trade that accounts for 19 per cent of Rwanda’s total exports. The country targets to earn about $225m by 2017, up from $20m presently. Rwanda’s main foreign exchange earners are coffee, tourism, minerals and tea.