Rwandas pyrethrum exports have risen between 6 and 10 tonnes of refined extract (pale) from 3.2 tonnes in the last three years, due to suitable climatic conditions and modern processing, an official has said.
Gabriel Bizimungu, the General Manager of SOPYRWA, the countrys sole pyrethrum factory said in an interview that the exports are valued at about $1.63 million or Rwf968 billion.
Rwandan pyrethrum is selling high compared to the same products in the region because of its good quality and modern processing, Bizimungu said, adding that the suitable climate has had a positive impact on the quality of pyrethrum in Rwanda.
With a score of 70-80 percent of the pure active ingredients, Rwandas volcanic soils are said to be favourable for the production of the best refined pyrethrum on the world market.
Bizimungu said prices for pyrethrum shipments from Rwanda have been attractive and stable at $250 per kilogramme on the international market while similar products in the region fetch $180 per kilogramme. Farms get prices are Rwf1,035 per kilogramme.
SOPYRWA intends to expand pyrethrum plantations to take advantage of the high demand and attractive prices on the international market. The company is also seeking to explore new markets from the US, UK, Italy, Ghana, Spain Switzerland and New Zealand.
We intend to expand pyrethrum plantations by encouraging farmers from the districts of Gicumbi, Rutsiro, Karongi Nyamasheke and Nyamagabe, he said.
He added that they intend to rehabilitate the factory in a move that will facilitate the companys plans to increase the production of insecticide and significantly trim the products annual import bill estimated at 2 to Rwf3 billion
We are going to start the rehabilitation of the house, where the factory shall operate from and this will reduce the factorys costs spent on importing insecticides, he added.
Some of the insecticides to be produced include those for mosquitoes, anti-mosquito sprays for skin, food preservatives, and animal and crop protection.
Rwandas refined extract pyrethrum was last year exported to US, Europe Africa and Asia.