A 21-member delegation from The Netherlands has held discussions with Rwanda’s minister of state for agriculture with the aim of exploring investment opportunities in the country’s agriculture sector.
This morning, November 24, 2015, the delegation accompanied by the Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda, travelled to Rulindo district in northern Rwanda where they officially launched a Smart-Greenhouse owned by a Rwandan, Jean Claude Ruzibibiza.
Ruzibibiza said, “Establishment of this Greenhouse cost $50,000 and The Netherlands helped with 50% of the cost”.
Frederique de Man, the Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda said, “I’m impressed by the Rwanda agriculture sector transformation growth and the Netherlands is proud to partner with Rwanda in this journey”.
The delegation comprises of representatives of 18 Dutch companies interested in exploring investment opportunities in Rwanda’s horticulture and livestock sub-sectors.
Of these companies, 13 are exploring opportunities in Horticulture while 5 companies are focused on investing in Livestock.
Some of the Dutch firms include; Koppert, Ruk Zwaan, Wageningen, Bosman Vanzaal, Hoodendoorn, Greenport Holland.
Tony Nsanganira, the State Minister for Agriculture noted; “We are so grateful to have Dutch Trade mission on board in transforming agriculture Sector and appreciate and encourage the involvement of Private sector in taking the lead in driving this great initiative.”
Investment opportunities under livestock include; breeding, fodder production, milk quality control and processing, animal feed factories, large meat and dairy processors, and poultry farms.
Rwanda’s horticulture subsector offers investment opportunities in supply of ; irrigation equipment, greenhouses, processing equipment and seeds.
Nsanganira said, “We have witnessed innovation driven work through the SMART HORTICULTURE initiative lead by the Dutch partners. The private sector should emulate them and be innovation driven”.
The mission was meant to facilitate interaction between Rwanda and The Netherlands in order to promote trade relations and learn from each other.
“We believe that it will turn into investment in Rwanda agriculture sector,” said a member of the Dutch delegation which arrived on Sunday and will be in the country until November 27.
The government is focusing on building a private sector led economy.
Agriculture sector contributes about 35% to the national GDP, and Rwanda sees it as an area with priority development, employing about 70% of the population in the country.
The sector has been the driving force for about 45% of poverty reduction in the last decade. It employs about 70% of the population.
Rwanda’s economy has been growing steadily at about 8% since 2001 with GDP per capita more than tripling from US$ 211 in 2001 to US$ 718 in 2014.
According to the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report, 2015, Rwanda ranks 3rd among the Sub-Saharan Africa Countries after Mauritius and South Africa and 46th globally, out of 189 economies included in the report.