OPINION : Rwanda needs a potential investor in agro-business

Rwanda has the gift of unique soils which are situated in the volcanic mountains. The soils are rich with nutrients but the agro sector seems to be forgotten and not exploited to full capacity. The country has potential to produce and compete on international markets because of its organic products.
GERTRUDE MAJYAMBERE
GERTRUDE MAJYAMBERE

Rwanda has the gift of unique soils which are situated in the volcanic mountains. The soils are rich with nutrients but the agro sector seems to be forgotten and not exploited to full capacity.

The country has potential to produce and compete on international markets because of its organic products.

The investment in agro-business will make the whole sector move forward with more of the countries citizens improving their lives and creating a change in society. 

There are many reasons why someone should invest in agro-business. One of the reasons is that labor is cheap and abundant and this contributes much to the improvement of people’s lives especially low income earners.

Agro-business fits well in the government’s policy for export diversification. agri-business would be the potent key and also in the commercialization of rural areas and women empowerment.

Very few local companies produce for export and most are in horticulture yet the country has had many success stories. Some of Rwanda’s agro products are quite popular in the export market internationally.

The country had secured market for national organic products like cow gee, passion juice, yellows or sweet bananas, honey and pepper but the market could not be sustained with quality produced.

Through the Central Bank, a fund was launched last year to help private companies to improve their competitiveness in domestic and export markets.

The basket of Rwf150 million worth of funds was not utilized according to information from NBR.

The country is still yet to exploit markets in Europeans countries. For example a  kilogram of the bananas is sold at Euros 4 (about Rwf3, 387), 30 times more than the current market price in Rwanda.

Government hired an expert to introduce a Chinese technology called JUNCAO now used in Rwanda, a technology that allows mushrooms to be cultivated in small spaces, and even inside houses.

The mushroom short growing cycle means that they can be harvested several times a year, thereby giving a greater and faster return than any other plant.

According a baseline survey conducted across the country by RHODA horticulture production in August was 309,171 tonnes of vegetables including French beans, Tomatoes, Cabbages, Onions, Carrots, eggplants and Leeks.

The local companies in horticulture include East African growers, Rwanda Flora, Floris, Shekina and Sorwatom.

Studies conducted by On-The-Frontier Group indicate that sericulture has massive potential over coffee in terms of revenues but the agro-business activity is inadequately funded.

Rwanda therefore needs a potential investor who would turn things around, brand the sector and market its potentials when exploited. Rwanda is still challenged by standards and the potential to sustain the market.

Ends

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