The construction of a fruit and vegetable market that was supposed to commence in March last year was delayed due to expropriation costs.
The project, a joint venture by the Ministry of Agriculture and the City of Kigali was designed to help fruits and vegetable farmers fetch better prices for their products and attain more bargaining power.
Speaking to The New Times, the Director of Communication at the Kigali City Council, Bruno Rangira said that the plan to construct the market at Masaka in Kicukiro District was affected due to the expropriation costs.
“It was expensive to expropriate the residents from the land which had been earmarked for the market,” said Rangira.
He said that there are plans to instead relocate the market to the Kigali Special Economic Zone in Gasabo District where they can acquire cheaper land.
Previously, the facility was to be constructed on a 15 acre piece of land in Gako Cell in Masaka.
Horticulture has been named one of the top government priorities as it is one of the top foreign exchange earners.
Though the industry offers considerable opportunities in terms of export receipts projected to reach over $12m in 2010, it remains underdeveloped.
According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture, farmers have been losing between 30-40 percent of their produce before it reaches the consumer.
The state-of-the-art market which is estimated to cost over Rwf3 billion will include; fruits and vegetable packaging units, temperature controlled storage units, normal storage facility, market information services and office space for private companies.
Horticulture products have a big market internationally especially in the Middle East.
The new market is expected to create over 25,000 jobs.
Efforts to get information from the officials charged with Horticulture promotion in MINAGRI on how soon the construction would start were futile by press time.