Multi-Sector Investment Group (MIG) plans to use the Rwandan trade fare in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo to look for market for its excess honey output.
The Brazzaville trade fare is slated from June 18 to 20, 2011.
“Samples have been taken and the information we got is that our products are served in major hotels,” said Vincent Ngarambe, the Managing Director of Multisector Investment Group.
The company intends to open up a shop once the market proves to be viable.
He said the idea matured when the national carrier, RwandAir, opened direct flights to Brazzaville in a move that is expected to ease cargo transport costs.
“This is part of our extension programme; samples have also been sent to Kenya,” Ngarambe said.
John Mirenge, the Chief Executive Director of RwandAir said the carrier has space for cargo ranging from 1.5 to six tones depending on the type of airplane operating the route.
“The routes are growing, the decision to open up those routes…was the right one; we realised that people were denied access to this part of the world,” Milenge said.
RwandAir’s cargo prices on the Kigali-Brazzaville route stand at $2.5 per kilo but the airline is giving a promotion of $1.5 per kilo, which will run for two months.
Currently MIG exports to DR Congo, Uganda and Burundi and it is keen on market diversification.
While MIG’s honey stocks stand at 15 tonnes, according to Ngarambe, the local demand stands at only one tonne, which is supplied in about 20 to 25 outlets around Kigali.
MIG recently acquired Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) Mark and it is keen on acquiring ISO 20000 accreditation, which will enhance customer confidence especially on foreign markets.
In a move to improve quality and quantity of their products, MIG imported 200 modern bee hives and a consultant was hired to train people on how to use them, targeting two years to be fully modernised.
“We expect quality to improve with the new technology as well as quantity, from 10 kilos per traditional bee hive to 40 kilos with modern bee hive per year,” Ngarambe said.
There are six honey collection centers with about 6000 members in cooperatives around districts surrounding Nyungwe national park. The districts include, Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru, Nyamasheke, Rusizi and Karongi.
In the last two years the company got a boost from government worth Rwf80 million a grant used to facilitate in extension and training of bee keepers.
In the last two years honey farm gate prices increased from Rwf600 per kilo to the current Rwf1200 per kilo. Retail prices range Rwf2, 800 to Rwgf400 per Kilo.