Fruit farmers hoping to benefit from the new Inyange plant by supplying agricultural produce will have to wait until next year.
This follows management’s decision to postpone the opening of the new factory located at Masaka, 19km from Kigali City to January next year owing to delay in supply of some equipments.
“We won’t be able to start operations as proposed because of delays in some of the required equipment,” Nils Zirimwabagabo, the project coordinator told Business Times.
“We made orders but the manufacturers delayed to make the equipments, which are now in transit,” he added.
It is the second time the $27 million (Rwf14.9 billion) plant has postponed commencement of operation. Early this year, the industries deferred its opening from June to September due to delays in supply of installers.
However, Zirimwabagabo said that the machines are expected next month and installation begins soon after.
“We are optimistic that the plant will be running in January,” he stressed.
The new industry is expected to benefit fruit farmers by opening markets for their produce.
Farmers will be offered supply contracts to ensure steady supply of raw materials to maintain the production levels.
According to company management, the new plant will have an average production capacity of 360,000 litres per hour, across all products from 2,976 litres.
This means that some 15,000 litres of extra juice and liquid products will be produced per hour.
The move will see maracuja and long-life juices added to the company’s product line, which also includes orange, mango, and apple juices, milk and mineral water.
According to the Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority (RHODA), the increase in fruit juice processing was a boost to the horticulture industry.
The expansion is seen as a big step towards beating competition from Sulfo industry and Urwibutso Enterprise, Inyange’s main rivals.
Once operations start, the old industries currently located at Gikondo industrial area will relocate to the new location on the 4.3 hectares of land in Masaka near the proposed Free Trade Zone (FTZ).