The project is expected to process 20 percent of the total production by 2012.
Government is to acquire a fruit juice ‘concentrate’ plant in a bid to see the country’s horticulture products compete with others on the international markets.
Local horticulture products have been limited on international market because of their unprocessed nature. The project is expected to process 20 percent of the total production by 2012.
Production of passion fruits and pineapples is estimated at 31.329 metric tonnes and 25.492 respectively
According to a survey done by the Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority (RHDA), less that than 10 percent of horticulture products from Rwanda are processed.
The plant is expected to be in place by the end of this year at a cost of $6.8m through public private partnership.
“Government is committed and some private operators have shown interest, we expect the project to be a public private partnership venture,” said Peter Muvara Chairman of (RHDA).
Muvara is optimistic that after the plant is acquired passion fruit juice will compete favourably on international market.
According to international trade centre in its, last month report, the demand remains strong for passion fruit juice but the supply is very low.
“The very distinctive taste of passion fruit is important. Consumers like it and it is difficult to replicate. Blenders cannot easily substitute passion fruit juice with an alternative juice,” last month’s report reads in part.
Muvara said that sufficient quantities of pineapples and passion fruits are available to produce 2,437 metric tonnes per year.
Eastern Democratic republic of Congo and Burundi are identified as potential markets since there are no fruit concentrates produced in these areas.
He however, projected that if the plant produced 5 metric tonnes per hour in eight hours per day and six days a week they will be able to produce 12,480 metric tones per year.
The estimated local and regional market is 30, 000 metric tones and Rwanda can reap high if the available market is exploited.
In a move to position itself in the market, contacts already exists with DELMONTE in Kenya and CERES in South Africa who are leading juice producers in the region.
The current national juice production is estimated at four million litres per year which is a syrup and ready to drink.