Three years after inking a deal with the Germany state of Rhineland Palatinate, Rwanda is about to start growing grapes with the aim to boost its wine industry and reduce wine imports. In 2019, Rwanda and the Rhineland-Palatinate committed to promoting cooperation in agriculture mainly in technology-driven farming, and sustainable winegrowing - the cultivation and harvesting of grapes. In the deal, Germany committed to help Rwanda with the requisite state-of-the-art technology, research and expertise to start growing grapes that are used as the main source of red wine, white wine, and rosé wines on the global market. Germany is ranked tenth among the top 15 global wine producing countries, by volume. Italy, France and Spain retain the top three positions. This partnership with Germany aims to identify suitable geographical regions and sites for grapevine cultivation on the basis, among other things, of soil information, topographic profile as well as suitable grape varieties. “We are promoting grapes, in collaboration with Germany. Wine growing is another opportunity we are exploring for Rwanda. Current activities are to identify local germplasm in the country (types of varieties), clean them and set up plans for local multiplication, but also introducing new and highly performing varieties from other places,” Charles Bucagu, the Deputy Director-General in charge of agriculture development at the Rwanda Agricultural and Animal Resources Development Board told Doing Business. He said that there are two grape varieties to be tested for two seasons. “We have two varieties introduced from Germany that are being tested for adaptability at Mulindi Horticulture Centre of Excellence. Depending on results of the trials, dissemination will follow. If they do not adapt, we will look for others,” he noted. In Huye district, he said, private operators are building a wine producing facility and it needs more grapes of good quality. The investors are setting up a plant that will make red wine and soft drinks from grapes. The grape processing factory will cost just over Rwf1.2 billion to set up in the industrial zone of Huye district. It will also process bottled mineral water in addition to making other soft drinks. Théogène Ntampaka, a farmer from Huye district, grows and harvests three tonnes of grapes per one season on about one hectare. There are two harvesting seasons in a year. “I started with 1,000 free grape seedlings,” he said, noting that some grape varieties will help to produce white grape wine and other grapes serve as fruits. Rwanda imports of wine, grape must (excluding grape juice) from South Africa was $1.39 million during 2021, according to the United Nations database on international trade. The still wine (wine from the fermentation of the grape) market in Rwanda was equal to $4 million (calculated in retail prices) in 2015. Until 2025, the wine market in Rwanda is projected to reach $7.61 million (in retail prices), thus increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 8.78 per cent per annum for the period 2020-2025. This is an increase, compared to the growth of about 5.74 per cent per year, registered in 2015-2019. The average consumption per capita in value terms reached $0.32 per capita (in retail prices) in 2015. In the next five years, it grew at a compound annual growth rate of 5.07 percent per annum. In the medium term, by 2025, the indicator is estimated to speed up its growth and increase at a compound annual growth rate of 5.09 percent per annum. The grape wine market will register an incremental spend of about $6.43 billion, growing at a rate of 2.12 per cent during the five-year forecasted period according to SpendEdge, a global procurement and sourcing intelligence advisory firm with offices in the US, UK, Canada, China, and India. The grapes market is projected to register a growth rate of 7.1 percent during the forecast period, 2022-2027. As per the Food and Agriculture Organization, the global production of fresh grapes, including table grapes, reached 77.13 million metric tonnes in 2019, which increased from 75.4 million metric tonnes in 2017. Such an increase in production is anticipated to create an attractive market for grape growers globally due to the increased demand from various consumers. The global wine market is projected to grow from $340.23 billion in 2021 to $456.76 billion in 2028 at a growth rate of 4.30 per cent from 2021 to 2028.