PM pledges support to maize processors

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, yesterday toured a leading maize milling factory, MINIMEX, in Kicukiro District, where he raised concerns over the plant’s low production. The Premier pointed out that he is currently visiting some of the major factories producing export products.
Prime Minister Habumuremyi  inspects maize flour manufactured by Minimex  during his tour of the plant yesterday. The New Times / T. Kisambira
Prime Minister Habumuremyi inspects maize flour manufactured by Minimex during his tour of the plant yesterday. The New Times / T. Kisambira

Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, yesterday toured a leading maize milling factory, MINIMEX, in Kicukiro District, where he raised concerns over the plant’s low production.

The Premier pointed out that he is currently visiting some of the major factories producing export products. 

“I want us to come up with a clear solution of how we can bridge the import-export gap and, at the same time, satisfy our local demand,” he said.

“I have realised that most of the factories that are operational are struggling to survive due to lack of raw materials and markets”.

The premier noted that there was lack of a clear coordination mechanism between the government and manufacturing firms, pointing out that this had affected the latter.

“I believe if a manufacturer contributes to the national economy, then the government has an obligation to facilitate them,” said Habumurenyi.

He assigned the ministries of Agriculture, Finance, and Trade and Industry to ensure that MINIMEX is empowered to produce to --its full capacity.

The Board Chairman of MINIMEX, Felicien Mutalikanwa, said that the factory produces below its capacity since its establishment five years ago.

“The factory produces only 20.4 percent of its capacity but we have imported new equipment and are planning to produce about 46 percent by February, next year,” said Mutalikanwa, adding that at full capacity, they can process about 300 tonnes of maize a day.

He added that the type of the equipment the factory owns need to be overhauled to produce the quality of corn in demand locally.

“At 46 percent production, we would be breaking even, but we need the government’s assistance in terms of convincing banks to give loans at a lower interest rate,” he added.

Part of the woes bedeviling the factory was lack of post-harvest storage infrastructure. However, two silos are presently under construction to address the problem.

edwin.musoni@newtimes.co.rw

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