New company to manage grains trade

Cereal and grain farmers in the country can be assured of ready market, thanks to a new body tasked to specifically buy and sell their produce. Registered by RDB, last week, as the Rwanda Grain and Cereals Corporation (RGCC), the firm is expected to, among other duties, manage national grain reserves and distribute grain and cereals in zones with scarcity.
MINIMEX employees  load sacks of maize flour milled at the company. A new firm  has been established with the responsibility of trading grains and cereals. The New Times / File.
MINIMEX employees load sacks of maize flour milled at the company. A new firm has been established with the responsibility of trading grains and cereals. The New Times / File.

Cereal and grain farmers in the country can be assured of ready market, thanks to a new body tasked to specifically buy and sell their produce.

Registered by RDB, last week, as the Rwanda Grain and Cereals Corporation (RGCC), the firm is expected to, among other duties, manage national grain reserves and distribute grain and cereals in zones with scarcity.

Its board of directors will include two officials from the government, which owns 54 percent shareholding, three officials from Cevital, a leading Algerian manufacturer of food products with 40 percent shares (about US$4million), and two members from the local private sector.

“RGCC will be strategic in buying and selling farmers’ grain and cereals and use market information to distribute to areas that face scarcity. We, particularly, expect a bumper harvest of maize this year; therefore RGCC serves as a timely intervention for the agricultural industry,” Francois Kanimba, the Minister of Trade of Industry (Minicom), said.

“Government considers RGCC as a bolster to farmers’ confidence given the assurance of a ready market that the corporation comes to offer. It will go a long way in reinforcing the crop intensification and land consolidation programmes,” Emmanuel Hategeka, the Permanent Secretary in the same ministry added.

The company will set up storage facilities, across the country, as well as facilities that handle the crops to improve their quality, according to Adam Sikanen, one of the board members, representing Cevital’s interests.

“RGCC will set up facilities to clean, dry, grade and brand the crops in order to improve their quality for both domestic and foreign markets. The body will also efficiently and sustainably manage surplus production,” Sikanen said.

“Farmers should not be worried about producing surplus because RGCC will guarantee 100 percent assurance for market and carry the burden of bearing losses if they arise.”

Felicien Mutalikanwa, Director of MINIMEX, a local milling factory with shares in RGCC, said that the body is a demonstration of government’s commitment to promote private-public partnerships.

“RGCC will help stimulate private-sector led growth and increased investment in agriculture through a public-private partnership,” Mutalikanwa observed.

RGCC was approved by Cabinet on December 7, 2011 and has fixed assets valued at US$12 million with the government commanding the largest shareholding.

However, according to Kanimba, gradual reduction of government’s shareholding will be expected as investments from the private sector increase in the future.

The government projects the firm to generate at least US$20 million worth of revenue by the end of this year.

ivan.mugisha@newtimes.co.rw

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