Rwanda has launched its avocado sea freight shipment, with the first container carrying 23 Metric tons currently leaving Kigali city for Dubai, through Mombasa port−Kenya.
The launch was held at Kigali Special Economic Zone in Masoro on November 25.
“Our quality is favorite on international market. Today’s move is a motivation for expansion of the market to other continents. We are targeting other markets in Europe and UAE. Sea freight will reduce transport costs significantly,” Aimable Gakirage, an exporter said.
According to Gakire, air freight charges $1.1 per kilo of avocado, compared to less than a dollar that will be charged on a kilo by sea.
Transitioning from airfreight export to sea route is expected to be one of the solutions to constantly rising transport logistics costs, which is one of the major concerns for horticulture exporters, limiting access to global markets.
“Local products will compete favorably on the international market. The transportation costs will reduce significantly,” Jean Marie Vianney Munyaneza, Emerging Commodities Division Manager at National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) said.
Available figures indicate that there are over 1.5million of avocado trees, planted on 6000 hectares across the country.
Claude Bizimana, Chief Executive Officer of NAEB said the quantity of avocado production is expected to double in the “coming few years.”
According to NAEB data, over the past five years, Rwanda has boosted its avocado exports from 105.4 metric tonnes in 2016–2017 to 2,765 metric tonnes in 2021–2022 while increasing its profits from $37,155 to $4,533,801 in the same period.
The two most prevalent varieties in Rwanda are Hass and Fuerte.