Government has urged the private sector to investment in cassava processing units. Agriculturists say the investments could help step up food production in the country and increase exports.
Rwanda Investment and Export Promotions Agency (RIEPA), has been tasked to come up with a cassava export strategy.
Government established a Guarantee Fund under the Integrated Development Programme (IDP) as an incentive for private sector to invest in agriculture. The fund is managed by Development Bank of Rwanda.
It is estimated that Frw250 million is needed to set up a cassava processing plant that produces 50 tonnes daily.
Theogene Nkurikiyinka, a consultant with
Centre for Support to Small and Medium Enterprises in Rwanda (CAPMER) said urban families rarely consume cassava flour mainly because of its poor quality.
CAPMER carried out the survey on the viability of setting up cassava processing units in Rwanda.
Antoine Ruvebana, the Secretary General in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Investment Promotion, Tourism and Cooperatives said adding value to cassava will reduce poverty levels, especially in rural areas.
Cassava production is steadily increasing. According to statistics last year’s production was 700,698 tonnes of cassava from 686 446 tonnes in 2006.
Most cassava is grown in the Southern and Eastern Provinces, producing a combined 65 per cent of the over all production.
The Eastern Province last year produced 146,906 tonnes of cassava which represent 21 per cent of the total out put.
The Southern Province’s production accounted for 44 per cent of the total national out put.
In the South cassava is mainly grown in the districts of Kamonyi, Ruhango, Nyanza and Muhanga.