NGORORERO- Members of a fruit cooperative in Ngororero District, KOAISO, is appealing for support to enable them secure a processing plant to boost their fruits business.
The farmers told this paper Wednesday that the plant will enable them to produce juice, and other fruit products, which are currently on high demand in Kigali.
“We are ready to move on to the next step of production, since we have managed to create a cooperative and our products are now on sale despite challenges such as lack of adequate transport,” said François Xavier Besindigi, the cooperative Vice chairman.
Besindigi affirmed the cooperative members’ commitment; but appealed for donor support to help them acquire the facility.
The farmers say fruits have a big market in spite of the challenges of high soil acidity, fruit disease, and lack of transport which have been their major setback.
“Farmers are earning a living out of this business and many residents have picked interest in growing fruits unlike in the past. However, we currently need help to address these problems, which affect the farmers’ incomes,” said one farmer, Shaban Sebutonzi.
The farmers produce at least 20 to 30 tonnes of fruits, which is mainly sold in Kigali. The fruit products are also locally consumed.
Since its formation in 2003, the society’s members have gained skills in cooperative management, administering micro projects, and business plan conception.
“The trained farmers have also managed to train others and this has resulted into formation of four new cooperatives, to boost the agricultural sector in the area,” says Innocent Nsenginyumva, a training specialist.