KIGALI - The Minister of Trade and Industry, Monique Nsanzabaganwa, instructed the management of Minoteries Industrielles Import Export Company (MINIMEX S.A), to speed up the process of buying maize from farmers in the Eastern Province to minimise losses among the farmers and maize cooperatives in the province.
Nsanzabaganwa made the call on Monday during a meeting with the management of MINIMEX at the company’s premises in Rusororo Sector, Gasabo.
“As a purchasing company that signed a contract with the government to buy the maize, I urge you to avoid delays in the buying process”
“This will help farmers avoid incurring losses as their produce can rot or be infected by pests if not bought on time” Nsanzabaganwa said.
The minister also urged the company to always provide farmers with basic information and knowledge regarding to the terms and qualities of maize they buy.
The meeting agreed to strengthen the monitoring process at the local level by involving, the Ministry of Local Government, Rwanda Cooperatives Agency and farmer’s cooperatives.
Speaking to The New Times, Nsanzabaganwa revealed that the government offered the company a Rwf1.2 billion loan to buy over 8,000 tonnes of maize from the Eastern Province.
“The main objective of the visit was to monitor the implementation of the loan agreement”
She said that the government decided to extend the loan was to allow the company buy the produce in large quantities.
She added that the company has so far bought 1500 tonnes of maize. She also revealed that the company will repay the loan after six months with an interest of 5 percent.
The Director General of MINIMEX, Josephine Umurerwa, said that one of the challenges the company is now facing is that there are some farmers who sell to them poor quality and rotten maize.
She revealed that they buy a kilogram of maize between Rwf140-150 depending on the quality of the produce.