The government will increase focus on pottery in an effort aimed at prompting export receipts.
Promoting exports to balance trade receipts and increase revenues is high on the agenda in the next financial year despite current challenges of quality of products to meet exports standards.
Exports increased from US$193 million in 2009 to US$254 million in 2010.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba, underscores the need to facilitate players in the pottery industry to improve their products and boost their competitiveness on the international market.
“We help them to facilitate access to technology to be able to improve the quality of the products, not only for Rwanda but for international markets. We believe through technology transfer they are able to make really nice products that can be exported”, he said.
The Minister stressed that there are plans to engage China, which is leading in finished pottery products to help provide skills.
“As you know China is engaged in many projects in this country but we believe we will ask them to help us to provide technological skills to our potters,” the Minister said while handing over six motorcycles and 32 bicycles as well as a computer to COPORWA, a cooperative that brings together all potters countrywide. Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) also received six motorcycles.
The motorcycles and bicycles were donated by the Rural Small Scale Enterprise (RSSE) promotion project- PPPMER-II that is being hosted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The project funded by international fund for agricultural development aims at provision of technological and logistical support, capacity building for cooperatives and the SMEs.
Emmanuel Munyamahoro, the Advisor for PPPMER-II project noted that the project has spent over Rwf215m and Rwf61m to RCA and COPORWA respectively in capacity building, training and purchase of motorcycles and bicycles.
“We expect them to do their work faster and these motorcycles will be used as their start to implement different activities PPPMER has been implementing,” he said, adding that the project will be rolling out in the next two years.
Kanimba expressed concern over the problem of organizing the market chain and address a number of issues mainly of farmers to obtain best produces based on the market price.
“But at the same we look for some ways to create market reserves and security for key food products focus on building the marketing chain of the commercialization of the agricultural produce starting by this cooperatives involved in marketing”, he said.
The chairman COPORWA, Kalimba Zephyrin, noted that the cooperative is prepared to start exporting their products especially in Europe and America.