The Joint venture project between the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) and Kigali City Council (KCC) to construct a wholesale fresh fruit market is set to kick off in March.
Speaking to The New Times, KCC’s Communications Officer, Bruno Rangira, revealed that the 15-acre piece of land has already been identified in Kicukiro district, Masaka Sector.
Masaka has been chosen due to its proximity to Kigali International Airport and this will facilitate easy exportation.
“The land has been identified in Gako Cell in Masaka and a firm has been contracted to carry out property evaluation for the residents in the area so that they can be expropriated,” Rangira told The New Times.
He added that MINAGRI and KCC have also advertised tenders for companies to carry out structural designing for the market and was optimistic that all the remaining preparations should be over by March.
The market is expected to help fresh fruits and vegetable farmers get good profits for their products and equip them with stronger bargaining power.
Horticulture has been named as one of the top government priorities with a big potential for revenue generation through export.
Though the industry offers considerable opportunities in terms of export receipts projected to reach over $12m this year, it remains under-developed, with current exports worth around $1.5m.
According to Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority (RHODA), farmers have been losing between 30-40 percent of their valuable products before it reaches the final consumer.
The state-of-the-art market which is estimated to cost over Rwf3 billion, will include; fruits and vegetable packaging units, temperature controlled storage facilities, normal storage, market information services and office space for private companies.
Horticulture products have a large international market especially in the Middle East. The new market is expected to create over 25,000 jobs.