Come November 25, the parking lot of Brioche Bread and Pastries in Kacyiru will transform into one huge market place for farmers and local artisans as the now monthly Kigali Farmers and Artisans Market returns for its Christmas edition.
Initiated in June this year, the Kigali Farmers and Artisans Market is a forum where local farmers and artisans meet to sell their fresh farm produce, art and craft pieces, while also maximising their reach to the community.
The interactive outdoor market features food and drinks, kids play, and networking, among others. The event has been held at different locations in Kigali since June this year.
Coming at the onset of the long December festive season, this month’s market has been dubbed ‘Christmas Edition’.
“We’re trying to make the theme more Christmas-like. We’ll have a Christmas tree, Christmas carols, vendors will also have Christmas gift baskets to mention but a few,” revealed Florence Mwashimba, the founder.
The market will open at 1pm and run till 6pm.
Mwashimba explained that the Kigali Farmers and Artisans Market is “not just a market, but a community that is aimed at empowering and growing businesses based in Rwanda, with focus on Made in Rwanda. That’s why our hashtag is “buy local, support local, made in Rwanda.”
Mwashimba further revealed that the market was initiated to solve a need on the market.
“There was a problem of consumers getting quality products, be it farm produce or manufactured products, especially with SMEs and home industries. There was a break in link between consumers and manufacturers.
“You realise that some manufacturers don’t have the business knowledge or know how to get the product to the market, while some consumers just don’t know that the product exists. There is a big rift on both sides. So the whole idea of creating a farmers market was to be able to bring together local farmers and artisans every month to come and showcase their products, and the community comes to support the local industries and know that these products are available and of high quality,” she said.
This will be the sixth time the market is being staged. The first event in June was staged at Kasa Keza, a Spanish tapas restaurant in Kacyiru. The second edition moved to Green African in Gikondo, while the third market was staged at Kiseki Japanese Restaurant in Kimihurura.
September saw a Kid’s edition of the market being staged at Blooming Buds Nursery and Primary School in Kacyiru, before heading back to Kiseki where a night market was held from 2pm to 8pm.
“We started very small, with only eight vendors, but by last month the number had risen to 51 vendors. This month we are targeting 60 vendors. The first market was attended by around 50 people but the last one had about 300 people. I decided to start small because it was an idea I wasn’t sure would be accepted here. In Uganda, Kenya, Europe and Asia, a farmers market is not a new concept,” she said.
Part of the proceeds from the event will be dedicated to ‘Hands of Mothers’, a local NGO that supports vulnerable women and young mothers in Kigali through education and economic empowerment.