Government plans to establish a national park house to improve the quality of produce in a move expected to boost exports especially in the horticulture industry as well as reduce post harvest loses from 40 per cent to about 10 per cent.
The US$500,000 (Rwf299.5m) facility will be build near Kigali International Airport. This was revealed, yesterday, during a workshop organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and other stakeholders to discuss modalities of increasing exports targeting horticulture.
“The whole value chain to boost exports in horticulture has problems but we have seen the initiative (park house) registering success in Kenya,” Jean Marie Vianney Munyaneza, a Horticulture International Market Officer at the National Agriculture Export Development Board (NAEB) said.
Farmers are also set to be provided with equipment to be used in harvesting including trucks to transport produce to the park house.
Munyaneza said the Kenya government had put up 15 park houses after their businesses stabilised which are now being privatised to pave way for private operators.
The Rwandan park house will have the capacity of 20,000 tonnes storage per day to be used by farmers, exporters and processors to sort, select and park their products accordingly.
According to Munyaneza, the park will be equipped with modern facilities like a cold room, modern sorting and selecting table.
The move follows complaints from some farmers dealing in macadamia plantations about lack of markets and market information for their produce and inefficiency in the process to register a cooperative.
Another concern raised by participating farmers is importing of poor quality seeds which in the end leads to low yield than expected.
The Director General of NAEB, Alex Kanyankole, said consumers as well as Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) should be vigilant on such sub-standard seeds.
“Consumers should buy from licensed, reputable and certified companies and the inspection team should work closely with RBS to ensure the seeds imported are adequately checked and screened,” Kanyankole urged.