Government has handed over the multi million cold-room at Kigali International Airport to Rwanda’s bonded warehouses (Magerwa) to run the facility.
The newly constructed cold-room, which cost government Frw500m, has five rooms to handle 30 metric tonnes of vegetables, fruits and flowers.
Currently every week Rwanda exports 7 tonnes of flowers, 10 tonnes of vegetables and less that 5 tonnes of fruits, but with the new facility to improve storage, exports are expected to increase.
The cold-room for flowers has capacity of 15 metric tonnes while storage capacity for both vegetables and fruits is 15 metric tonnes.
Peter Muvara, director of Rwanda agriculture sector development urged the private individuals in horticulture business to increase production in order to make good use of this facility.
“Increase production for export, as the ministry we shall support you,” he urged.
Government has also subsidised horticulture handling costs in order to keep price of using this cold house low.
The market rate in the region is Frw82.5 per kilogramme on average but the exporters using the cold-room at the airport will pay Frw38.6 per kilogramme.
“We shall talk to Magerwa so that they reduce the costs as production increases,” Muvara said.
Currently Rwanda’s horticulture products are exported to the European Union (EU) especially, in Holland and Belgium.
Muvara said that national production for horticulture last year stood at 2.5m tonnes but due to poor quality, it suffered low demand.
The ministry also plans to increase cultivated land for horticulture from the current 50 hectares to 100 hectares.