The National Agriculture Export Development Board (NAEB) on Friday entered a joint venture with ProDev Bugesera, a local firm that specialises in commercial farming, to boost the country’s export potential of horticulture products.
Under the deal, NAEB will have a 49 per cent shareholding while Pro-Dev Bugesera’s stake will be 51 per cent.
“The long-term objective is to carry out modern commercial farming in Gashora marshland and promote the growing of vegetables that have high export potential for Rwanda. The project will produce high value crops for export but also for high end markets in Kigali, such as hotels and supermarkets, as reflected in the business plan,” according to a statement.
The negotiations were facilitated by Rwanda Development Board and the Ministry of Agriculture, according to the statement.
An equivalent of 250 hectares in Bugesera District in Eastern Province have been dedicated to the project, with an initial investment of $700,000, which is 30 per cent of the needed capital worth $2,2 million for the entire project.
Felicien Mutalikanwa, the chairman of Pro-Dev Bugesera, welcomed the partnership and praised the efforts that the Government’s efforts in facilitating local investors to have a bigger role in national economic development.
“ProDev is proud to be part of this investment project and will not spare any efforts to make it a success.” Mutalikanwa added.
Amb. George William Kayonga, the chief executive of NAEB, said the partnership is oriented towards the future and underpins the potential of one of the key sectors of the country.
He said this is a unique project that would help broaden the country’s export base.
Emmanuel Hategeka, the chief operations officer at Rwanda Development Board, commended the development saying: “This partnership is by far one of the most significant in the agricultural sector, and it is expected to bring tangible benefits in accessing export markets.”