€10 million fund to support horticultural, coffee value chains to be launched today

Workers of Rwanda Trading Company, the first local coffee exporter, at the factory at Kigali Special Economic Zone. Sam Ngendahimana.

The European Union has launched a call for proposals to be funded through a €10 million fund to unlock the potential of Rwanda’s horticultural and coffee value chains to ensure the supply of safe products to local, regional and international markets.

According to a statement by the European Union Delegation, the initiative will be launched today by the Director General of the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) Bill Kayonga, and the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Rwanda, Amb. Nicola Bellomo in Karenge Sector of Rwamagana district.

The overall amount made available under this call for proposals is €7.68 million of which €4.68 million is for horticultural high-value chains, SME- and agribusiness development while €3 million is for enhancing coffee value chain development.

This could boost government efforts to increase coffee production and exports which is expected to grow to 24,500 tonnes of coffee in 2018, from the 23,000 tonnes of last year.

Coffee is grown on 37,000 hectares by 355,000 small-scale farmers and it makes up 48 per cent of Rwanda’s agricultural exports according to figures

Another €2.3 million is being invested in building the laboratory capacities of the National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) for compliance with regional and international markets standards.

“The support is in the context of the EU’s overall support to Rwanda’s agriculture sector through a financing agreement of 204 million Euros,” the EU statement noted.

This, the statement says, is in accordance with the newly adopted strategy for the transformation of Agriculture (PSTA 4) whereby European Union supports to intensify the production of agriculture and increase employment opportunities in  Rwanda rural areas in particular for youth and women.

It will help increase the quality and quantity of production and ultimately increase value addition per hectares with a specific attention to poverty reduction and increase of incomes for smallholder farmers.

 The call is also putting a lot of attention on the questions of traceability, standards, certification, in order to comply with regional and international market requirements.

As a complementary measure, the programme is co-financed by the EU-EAC Markup Programme that will bring complementarity through regional approaches to facilitate trade and improve access to international markets.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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