Rwanda to invest in horticultural crop production to ensure enough volumes for regional and international markets as well as to boost exports. ByexPosted

Rwanda is seeking to invest in modern large-scale horticultural crop production to ensure the country has enough volumes to take advantage of the demand in regional and international markets as well as boost exports.

Rwanda is seeking to invest in modern large-scale horticultural crop production to ensure the country has enough volumes to take advantage of the demand in regional and international markets as well as boost exports.
Kenyan floriculture firms are eyeing expansion to Rwanda due to favourable climate and government incentives aimed at boosting the sector.
Several Kenyan firms say the climate in Rwanda favours the growth of flower types attracting high demand on the international market. A number are already seeking partnerships in Rwanda.
Bright Harvest Ltd, which brings together investors from Rwanda and other East African countries but is based in Rwanda, is among the new entrants in the floriculture sector, having entered the market at the end of 2015.
The regional firm joined the market couple of weeks after Zedgee Flowers Ltd opened its subdivision Floramatt, in Rwanda.

“Floriculture is a profitable business and the main attraction for us is Rwanda’s climatic conditions and the enabling government policies,” said Joseph Muganga, the managing director of Bright Harvest Ltd.
Floramatt is looking to tap into a summer flower project growing Mobydick flowers flourish in Rwandan climate, in a bid to meet market demand in Europe.
Simon Ethangatta, a managing consultant with Floramatt, said that a sample grown in Rwanda to test the viability of the projects showed that the shoots harvested in Rwanda are double the size of those harvested in Kenya.
“We want to tap into summer flowers known as Mobydick Flowers, which are also grown in Europe, but we found that the same can flourish here in Rwanda, in terms of quality and quantity, given the hilly terrain,” said Mr Ethangatta.
The Rwandan government has committed to strengthen the sector, through the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), which was established 5 years ago to support and promote agricultural exports.
However, commercial flower farmers say that despite NAEB support, the floriculture sector still lacks technical support and inputs which hampers the growth of the sector.

“The main challenge at the moment is the heavy capital investment we make but we cannot get technical expertise to produce flowers that meet export quality standards,” said Mr Muganga.
Rwanda is seeking to invest in modern large-scale horticultural crop production to ensure the country has enough volumes to take advantage of the demand in regional and international markets as well as boost exports.
Floramatt and Bright Harvest Ltd are looking to acquire more land in addition to the 6 and 4 hectares they have respectively acquired in Rulindo district.
Prosper Mulindwa, the Rulindo district vice mayor in charge of economy development said that the district has planned to increase the leased land to 300 hectares by 2018 and introduce the business to the local communities to get outgrowers.
The government has planned to build 10 tonnes of cold storage facility by 2017/18 in Rulindo district to support flower growers as the demand for flowers at the international market remains impressive.
“We are planning to go to the international market directly but at the same time also enter into partnerships with like minded investors to create a larger brand for Rwanda flowers on the export markets, said Mr Muganga.

Rwanda is currently producing 500 stems of flowers with an expectation to export one million stems of flowers by the end 2016/2017 fiscal year.
According to the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) statistics, horticulture exports has grown to $10 million (Rwf8.2 billion) in 2016 from $6 million (Rwf5 billion) in 2013.