Over 44K smallholder Rwandan horticultural farmers are set to benefit from a project funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Rwanda.
The investment that is to run for four years seeks to increase the production of horticulture, support the growth of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) . Other than SMEs it also targets farmer cooperatives and companies within the horticulture value chain.
The USD 18.2 million project seeks to strengthen the horticultural value chain and support the objective of the Rwandan National Horticulture Policy in a bid to lower poverty, malnutrition cases as well as spur further growth of the sector.
The project will be implemented in six districts namely Muhanga, Karongi, Rutsiro, Rubavu, Nyabihu and Ngororero. The initiative envisions to boost the turnover of 30 horticulture SMEs, develop the horticulture industry further and strengthen cooperatives.
Speaking during the initiative launch, the Netherlands Ambassador to Rwanda, Frédérique de Man said Netherlands is dedicated to support Rwanda’s horticultural sector adding that the sector is vital for Rwanda’s socio-economic development.
She stated, “The Dutch –Rwanda horticulture relation has developed over the past years. The horticulture sector is a very important factor in the socio-economic development of Rwanda. The Netherlands is one of the largest horticulture exporters in the world with extensive experience and knowledge that is available to share.”
Ambassador de Man stressed on the importance of a joint effort to ensure success of the key sector
“There are high incentives and benefits such as a diverse and nutritious diet for households, increased income for farmers, profits for the cooperatives, fees for traders and merchants, revenues for the government and fresh vegetables and fruits for the consumers.”
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) said the project will help improve farmers earning and fight malnutrition further revealing that there are plans underway aimed at boosting the quantity of horticultural products produced.
Horticultural sector has over time become a crucial sector that boosts the economy of Rwanda. The sector’s future prospects look promising as the government is improving and modernizing the agricultural sector. Rwanda’s agricultural exports generated over USD 515.9 million in a period of one year from July 2017 to June 2018, representing an increase of 44.73 per cent compared to the previous financial year.
Featured Image Courtesy: HortiBiz