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Rwanda Scoops 2019 Foodex Award

by Daniel Sabiiti
6:22 pm

Maize crop garden in Nyagatare district. Farmers in the Eastern part of the country have experienced bumper harvest this season.

Rwanda’s Africa Improved Foods (AIF) has been awarded the Food Industry Excellence (Foodex) award that recognizes outstanding achievements and efforts in 2019 that improved the agricultural sector on the continent.

AIF is a joint-venture between Rwanda government and a consortium of Royal DSM, Dutch development bank (FMO), DFID Impact Acceleration Facility managed by CDC Group plc and International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.

The AIF enterprise was this week declared in Nairobi, Kenya, the sustainability initiative of the year for its work with local farmers in maize sourcing and quality improvement.

In this category AIF was nominated alongside Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, Bio food products and Kenya Breweries Ltd, with each being recognized for different initiatives that improved the farmer’s life in Africa.

Doriane Nzorubara, Head of Strategy and Programs at AIF stepped up to the stage to receive the only platinum prize in the sustainability category.

“AIF’s was rewarded for its value chain centric initiatives which in turn helps the farmers increase the quality and value of their yield and help companies’ source locally,” Nzorubara said.

To achieve this the AIF enterprise offers 24,000 Rwandan farmers sustainable income for a proportion of their harvest of which AIF recently signed a purchase deal of 20 tons of the targeted 500 tons of their produce with plans to buy in large quantities and good prices.

AIF currently buys the maize produce on farm site, with a kilogram of maize bought at Rwf189 but also taking care of the transportation and ensuring the farmers uphold the quality needed.

“We were losing on these prices because of negligence in post handling, which also affected our productivity when we take the maize to the markets, where just a few seeds are bought and the rejected maize fed to animals,” said Epiphanie Murerwa the president of Mugesera Maize Cooperative (KODUIBI).

By 2022, the project is expected to have enabled 200,000 households increase production by 50 percent, construction of 4000 ha of terracing, 600 ha of irrigation land.

At the same Foodex awards event, Tropikal Brands Afrika, AIF partner in producing Nutripro Family Porridge was also winner of the milled, cereals and pulses product of the year.

The same award was given to nominees like National Foods Zimbabwe which manufactures Pearlenta Mealie Meal, Mjengo Ltd.

At the beginning of this year, Tropikal Brands partnered with Africa Improved foods to tap into their highly advanced milling technology to produce Nutripro Family Porridge which can now be found in stores across Kenya.

This is the third partnership, AIF has undertaken adding to its partnership with World Food Program (WFP) to produce Super Cereal that is distributed in relief camps across Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan and Rwanda’ Ministry of Health to produce Shisha Kibondo which is distributed to vulnerable women and children in Rwanda in a bid to fight stunting and malnutrition.
AIF also implements a Value Chain approach to develop local maize and soy farming to a much higher standard.
In September AIF also made Rwanda shine on the global scene scooping the first Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Award from Swiss Green Economy Symposium (SGES) for promoting sustainable consumption of food patterns and fighting malnutrition.
The $60million investment project in Rwanda now targets a capacity to feed two million people and contribute to reducing stunting levels in Rwanda from 38% to 32% by 2020 – a 6% reduction.